Grant, a 14-year-old TCK, shares his view of his globally mobile life.
My whole life, I have been moving from country to country, bouncing between cities like I’m in a pinball machine. Though it has at times been very hectic at times, I’ve always enjoyed the fun in pinball. So to answer the question where are you from, I would have to say that I am from a 'pin ball machine flying house'. I’ve been in all climates, handled numerous different currencies, and can recite the safety instructions given on commercial plane rides. Countless times I’ve been asked the question, ‘Where are you from?’, and it’s always been a tough one to answer. Eventually, I’ve come to tell people I am from the earth: from Australia, to the U.S., to Indonesia, to Nigeria, Thailand, and beyond. Everywhere I go feels like home to me.
When I heard this question, I imagined a hot air balloon full of all my belongings: drifting aimlessly through the air without a care in the world. That is what I would do. It has been my dream to see it all, to live life with no regrets, and achieve all I can achieve. In my flying house, I would wander the world, visiting places I’ve been, picking up some old faces of mine as well as past memories, and take them with me to wherever the wind takes me. The hardest part about a life overseas is the fact that nothing lasts forever. You can never know if it is your last year in one place, and whether or not you have to say your good-byes. With my flying house, I would take back all those good-byes and turn them into ‘welcome back’. Time seems to get away from you on earth, before you know it, a year has passed and great things come to an end. In my hot air balloon of a home, time won’t faze me. I would be far above the push of everyday hustle and bustle. There wouldn’t be an end, only beginnings; each day, the first day of an everlasting vacation to a new destination.
My pin ball machine - flying house will go everywhere. I wouldn’t be out of the comfort zone of my own home, because everywhere is home. One thing people sometimes forget is that a home and a house are different. The world is my home. My house is just storage, a home is much greater. But in my flying house, I would not just store my clothes, gadgets, and idle play things; I would keep my friends, my family, everything that matters most to me. Where would I go with all this? It wouldn’t matter to me, as long as I am with the people that matter most to me, and going somewhere, anywhere. As for now, my flying house is simply a plane, moving me from location to location, dropping me into new memories and new faces. Though this is not my ideal flying house, it is all I’ve got. It has given me many unique experiences, countless stories, and have allowed to live the dreams of many, many people. The life of a third culture kid is chaotic and electrifying; and though they already live in a flying house, they sometimes wonder where they would go if the choice was up to them. Some choose to pop their balloon and stay where they are, and some choose to fly back home. I would do neither. In life, I’ve come to discover that ‘where’ is not the first question to address. Memories are nothing if you do not spend them with the ones you love. In my flying house I would travel the world not only to create new memories to cherish forever, but also to bring back the old, for I would not be flying if it weren’t for them.
Australia, USA, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, Canada
This is one in a series of excerpts from the soon-to-be published The Worlds Within TCK Anthology. A portion of the book’s profits will be donated to the FIGT David C Pollock Scholarship Fund.