I often forget how many of you don't know about my past and what I've gotten up to outside of (and even before) this blog, because I am always met with comments like 'You lived in _____??' or 'You did what??' when I drop little bits about my life into posts. I guess that when I write posts I tend to generalise my audience and forget that some of you have been around much longer than others and tend to know more about me! So, today I thought I'd give you all a bit of context so you can better understand the girl behind the screen, and hopefully this will allow us all to connect on a deeper, more personal level, as well as find out what it truly means to be a third culture kid!
Right, before we get started I should clear a few things up. First of all, I'm sure that many of you haven't actually got the slightest clue what a TCK is (don't worry - I didn't know for ages either!) Basically, a third culture kid (TCK) is a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents' culture for a significant part of their development years, which is exactly what happened to me. It all began in May 1993 when little ol' me made my way into the world. I was born in the outskirts of London, UK, and since then I have been lucky enough to live in five different cities located across four countries and two continents. Life was pretty standard for my first few years - I grew up in the Kent countryside and attended an all-girls school where I met some lovely ladies, with whom I still keep in contact. However, not long after my 8th birthday my family got some big news - my father had been promoted and later that year my whole family was to be relocated to the grand city of Hong Kong, half way around the world.
So, at the ripe old age of 8 and a half I was whisked off to what I now refer to as my Asian hometown, Hong Kong. Being so young meant that I adapted really quickly and, to be honest, didn't really notice just how big of a change it was. HK will always hold a special place in my heart as it is essentially where I grew up. I hardly remember living in the UK when I was younger, whereas most of my major milestones occurred whilst I was in HK; hitting my teenage years, my first kiss, and graduating high school, amongst other fantastic memories. I spent 10 amazing years there, moving back to the UK to attend university like my siblings had before me. At eighteen I was faced with my second big move; I was accepted to the University of Bath in the UK and left my parents and friends behind in HK as I moved back to where I had begun, but this time to a completely new city.
Although I'd returned to a familiar country, there was still a certain aspect of culture shock, as well as the fact that I didn't seem to 'fit' anywhere. I had visited the UK enough to understand most cultural references, but not all, and when I said I was from Hong Kong people would look at me strangely and question my blonde hair and my western appearance. It was definitely tricky trying to find my niche when I started university in Bath, and still felt like an outsider on many an occasion, but I really came to love my weird and wonderful childhood, and it certainly helped me out when it came to my next move. 
As I studied languages at university, I somehow found myself on a flight to Russia at the beginning of my third year, and that was probably my toughest relocation of all. I lived in a city south of Moscow called Воронеж (Voronezh) which, despite its large size, seemed to be completely detached from the western world. Despite Russian being one of the hardest languages I've ever tried to learn, my four months there were some of the most interesting and educational, as well as mentally challenging, of my entire life. Whilst I was there I actually started a separate travel blog to document my time abroad called The Travel Diary of a Third Culture Kid, where you can read all about my crazy adventures in Russia, as well as in my next country of residence - Spain!
Ah, España - ¡te echo de menos! Following my time away in Russia, I was lucky enough to spend half a year living and studying in one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Madrid, Spain. As you can imagine, after my time in Russia my Spanish experience was almost too easy, but it definitely had its challenges. One of the hardest things for me there was attending university. Unlike in Russia where I had just gone to learn the language, in Spain I attended a proper university and sat in the same classes and took the same final exams as Spanish students as part of the Erasmus programme. This meant 2-hour lectures in Spanish about 19th century Russian Literature and gruelling exams and homework for my class on the culture and history of Andalucia, but on the plus side the entire experience in Madrid was one that I'll never forget. My language skills improved so much, and by the end I truly felt at home, so much so that I could actually see myself moving back there for a while in the future.

So that's my story so far - 22 years, 5 cities, 4 countries, 2 continents, and I'm nowhere near finished. I'm currently back in the UK with my parents whilst trying to figure out my next move, but you can bet that I've got an exotic future ahead of me if I have anything to do with it! I hope today's post has helped you gain a little bit of insight into my life thus far, and if you have any questions then do ask me below, comment on my recent Q&A post, or even send me a quick email! 

Now that I've blabbered on, why don't you tell me what you've gotten up to in your life so far? It doesn't have to be travelling - just tell me something about yourself :) 

I x

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