Saturday, April 1, 2017

Why I started travel blogging: I'm a third culture kid





A third culture kid (TCK) is a person who has grown up in different countries and cultures therefore developing cultural traditions as a mixed salad of different cultures as opposed to feeling rooted in just one. A hybridity of cultures.

I was born in Singapore, childhood in Jakarta, then pre-teen through teen years in Singapore, University in LA, early to late twenties working and living in New York, back to Singapore, then Graduate school in Switzerland, internship in Brussels, back to Singapore and now Global Nomad writing about my life as a hybrid of cultures and travel. Its quite confusing to tell people "where I'm from?" because I'm a mixed bag. A long story. A complicated background of cultures. I hold a passport that is pretty foreign to me and when going through visa applications and immigration it always baffles people. I have also spent summers living in Sydney, Lake Arrowhead, San Francisco, LA, Durham (NC), Washington DC, Toronto, and Edinburgh either visiting family, summer camps, and performing in festivals.

My accent is American with an international school lilt sometimes, Californian sometimes, and New Yorker sometimes. I have mostly Chinese heritage (my ancestors but my parents are as global and cultural hybrids themselves) but I speak zero Chinese except beyond "Ni Hao" "Xie Xie" with a English accent. English is my native language although Bahasa Indonesian is my first language though I've got the fluency of a 3 year old. I studied Japanese for 8 years in grade school and can only muster up broken Japanese these days. I studied Swedish in University intensively for a year then in recent years have been self studying with books, newspapers, music, tv/film, online courses, speaking to Swedes, and took a brief course while I was in Brussels and I read and understand it pretty well. Briefly studied German (what a hard language!) for 6 months and can still order food or understand basic German alright. I started learning a bit of French because of my love for wine (what a wine geek!)

So that's just a tip of the iceberg on my complicated TCK life... I'm not going to bother you with the rest


Why I started travel blogging

I wanted a little place to tell my stories. I've traveled my entire life and have been to so many places on this small world. It is my rolodex, my portfolio, and to inspire others to become global citizens. The world is not that big. 

My immediate family and extended family members live across world in different countries - there's no such thing as having a family reunion that all of us can make it. We would fill an entire grand ballroom if that ever happened. I have not met my entire extended family. 

Growing up as an expat kid and then later as an expat and world traveler means that I also have friends all over the world. My network continues to grow in geography. Its wonderful! 

Last but not least, I started travel blogging because I want to remember the stories and memories. Memories are my home and I don't want to forget them. 

This is my ever-growing list of Places I've been to


A showcase by Singapore International Foundation artists who have received funding in 2013/2014. My dance production, Habitat, toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. 






18 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story! I'm very much a 1 culture kid so it was really interesting to hear such a different perspective. I can see how experiencing such a mix of cultures would fuel your love of travel and exploration!

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  2. Hi AmericanoSinagaporeancalifoniaEnglish girl!! hahahha! oawowu! too many nationalies, accents and places! Just Love it!!!!

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    1. HAHAHA! You forgot ChindoNewYorkeuro!

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  3. Love this post Alaine! Obviously I can relate as a fellow TCK myself! Happy travels!

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  4. I love your story! I am mainly Italian and love my cultural traditions, I can't image having three different ones, but it sounds like it would be a really fun and interesting time!

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    1. I have more than three cultures... more like 5 or 6... ;-) Well I don't really know what to say if its been all fun and games with having no ownership fully to any one culture or be treated as a local in any of the cultures I've been exposed to. It certainly is interesting...
      To qualify as a bonafide TCK, one has their parents culture, the host culture, and the culture of being a global nomad. (http://www.tckid.com)

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  5. Wow! So interesting to hear your story. I'm very surprised and excited to hear you know a bit of Swedish, as not many people choose to study my language!

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    1. I took an Intro to Scandinavian literature class then Hans Christian Anderson class then Nordic Film class and was dating a Swede in University so then took Swedish as a language. I just love Scandinavia! History of the Vikings, the kings, the battles between Denmark and Sweden and then the Germans, the current day Scandinavian way of life (Lagom, Fika - my previous post was on my adopted Swedish tradition of Fika, Hygge from the Danes), and I can make really yummy chokladbollar & köttbullar ;-)

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  6. You have such a fascinating background! Literally the globe is your home. I was interested in hearing that you stayed in Durham, NC. I'm living there now, what bought you to the area?

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    1. Thanks! Yea, the world is my home. I hate that question "where are you from?" hahahaha I usually give a vague answer "everywhere".
      I lived in Durham, NC during a summer for American Dance Festival between my freshmen and sophomore year of college in CA. I met one of my closest friends at that festival and we've been friends now 14 years!

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  7. Wow, what a global existence you lead! It sounds both challenging and amazing to have grown up across so many cultures - do you have a culture or cultures that you identify with more than others? Languages that speak more to you? Thank you for sharing your background - I think it's great when bloggers talk about why they want to blog and reflect on how their unique experiences shape their perspectives - in travel blogging this is particularly important because we write about the intersections of cultures. Great post, looking forward to reading more :)

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    1. I identify culturally as American because I lived there the longest and in my American and International schools in Southeast Asia that was the predominant lingua franca so to speak. As far as language goes.. Swedish is the language I learn, read, listen to, (and sometimes talk to myself) on a daily basis on purpose. I totally agree that travel blogging is about our personal unique stories and perspectives when traveling and conveying to others.

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  8. I think its beautiful to find "home" in many places! I typically find a sense of home everywhere I go in some way!

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  9. I love this! As someone who's moved about a little I totally get it! Can't wait to see where else you go

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    1. Thanks for the comment and support! Sometimes its difficult to say "where are you from" or even now "where are you based" ...

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