Nationality: World

     I love Thailand. I have been here most of my life (around thirteen and half years living here), despite being born in Sydney and living there for two and a half years. But I don't remember anything of those two years; my first memory is my family's apartment in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. And then the memories switch to Chiang Mai.

     My only memories of Australia are being there as a stranger.



     Sometimes I struggle with knowing who I am; where I consider myself from. Because though I have pale skin and brown hair, my house is in Thailand. Because though I have an American/English/occasionally Australian accent, I've grown up on a Thai soi*. I might have Australian and Latvian blood in me, but both those places are foreign to me.

*a tiny narrow road winding between houses

     In my international school, one of the first questions you ask when getting to know someone is, "Where are you from?" I would usually reply "Australia" as the question meant what your passport country was.

     The next time someone asks me that, I'm going to say, "The world."



     The world is full of rich cultures, different kinds of people, amazing geography, and wonderful places. We usually define ourselves by a sliver of land cut into pieces and called a country.

     Most days I feel like I am from many places, but at the same time, I'm from nowhere.  In Thailand I'm still furang (foreigner), still have to go to immigration and have a visa. I'm a foreigner in the only place that doesn't feel foreign. In Australia my looks fit in, but my manners and perspective of the world do not.



     "How does it feel to be home?" People in Australia ask me.

     I'll be brutally honest right now: Australia is not my home. My perception of home is where my heart, family, and friends are. 

     A home should not be just a house.

     I believe it's a group of people who you love and love you back, and that no matter where you go, are always there to support you. To laugh with you. To cry with you.

     I might be stuck between worlds, from an entire globe but not a single country, but at least I know one thing:

     I've got a home.


Do you guys struggle with your identity in any way? Have you ever travelled? (Also, sorry to break away from my normal Wednesday writing posts, but I'll be back with the final Magic System post on Saturday). Share in the comments; I love hearing from all of you! :)

Comments

  1. I'm just from the plain ol' US, and have only even been out of the country once. When I was little. For a week. To Mexico. So I'm not too sure that counts? Oh well.

    That is really cool that you live in Thailand... and interesting how you view/feel about your home. I get what you mean. A home isn't just a house. :)

    Okay, I'm curious. Do you speak the native language? Have you even been into Burma/Myanmar?

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    1. That totally counts. XD I do speak Thai (not extremely well but enough to get me through) but my schooling is in English. I personally haven't traveled into Burma/Myanmar but a lot of my close friends have. Yeah, I'm pretty lucky to be able to grow up in Thailand. It's an amazing place. :D Thanks for commenting, Jeneca!

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  2. I enjoyed this read. I have stayed at different places and it is so confusing to pinpoint one place. I also believe the world should be one home for all. There is a very good talk by Elif Shafak where she speaks about how stories are global and why one shouldnt expect a writer to write stories only about the region she is from (in case you are interested).

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Resh! Definitely, everyone should be able to enjoy everything in the world. That sounds like a great talk, thanks, I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks so much for dropping by! :D

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  3. Ohhh I really love this post! I have never experienced anything like this, but one of my best childhood friends was a missionary kid to PNG and basically talked about these same feelings. Like she was blonde/white/Australian but felt more at home in PNG than in Australia. I think it makes total sense! Home, to me, means where you've put roots down and are familiar. But I also love how you said "the world" for your answer for where you're from. THAT IS A REALLY COOL ANSWER.

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    1. Thanks Cait! XD I totally get what your friend feels like; it's both an amazing experience to live somewhere you're not born, but it can be tough at times. I think we should all be from 'the world.' :D Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

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