When you say the word ‘home’, many have a clear-cut image in their mind - whether it be cooking in the same kitchen with their mother as they have all their lives, the friends they’ve made in years gone by, or their favourite little coffee nook in their hometown. ‘So, where do you consider home?’ has been a question that have come up again and again throughout my lifetime, and one that I’ve never really been able to answer. See, I've moved around a bit and consider myself to be what is called a Third Culture Kid -  a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents' for a significant part of their development years, which means that I've had more than my fair share of foreign experiences and challenges to deal with. A fellow TCK, Beth who writes Ginger N' Roses (the lovliest girl - you definitely need to follow her!) inspired me to write this post the second I saw her 'Behind the Blog' page. As hard as it might be to believe, that girl definitely trumps me when it comes to places lived in, and she has outlined similar lessons or realisations that she has gathered from the different countries along the way, which inspired me greatly to write out my own. Below I've outlined the countries I've been lucky enough to live in, when I was there, and a handful of lessons that each location has taught me - enjoy!

H o n g  K o n g : 
( D e c e m b e r  2 0 0 1  -  S e p t e m b e r  2 0 1 1 )

 That a huge mix of cultures, religions and traditions can exist together in complete harmony, and that said mix is incredible to be a part of. Seriously, growing up in that type of environment is incredible, and teaches you so much about the world and other people.
二 That I most definitely thrive in a city environment.
三 That you need to push to get on public transport, otherwise you'll be left in the dust. This tip has served me well on many occasions, in many locations worldwide. (Seriously, watch me get on a bus from Uni at 6pm!)
四 That no one, and I mean no one, makes iced tea like the Chinese
五 That the quality of service is just SO much higher in Asia (and boy do you pay for it!)

E n g l a n d : 
1 9 9 3  -  2 0 0 1 ,  2 0 1 1  -  2 0 1 3 ,  2 0 1 4  -  p r e s e n t )

One: That most of the stereotypes about the English are in fact true; we are (generally!) polite and gosh, we sure do like to talk about the weather.
Two: That there's nothing quite like the food you ate when you were young - Jammie Dodger anyone?
Three: That some of the most culturally diverse areas are some of the most fun to spend time in.
Four: That public transport costs in the UK are extortionate. I only had to pay €30 a month for the equivilant of an unlimited Oyster card in Madrid, and the MTR in HK (like the Tube) is rarely more than a couple of pounds. Don't even get me started on how cheap Russia was!!
Five: That no matter how much having a Monarchy seems to cause conflict, you can't argue with the sence of pride and patriotism that it gives you - god, I love the Queen!

R u s s i a : 
( S e p t e m b e r -  D e c e m b e r  2 0 1 3 )

Один: That -15c isn't really that cold if you've got the right clothes.
Два:  That it is indeed possible to live without eating any fruit or vegetables for 4 months, allthough it certainly isn't reccomended or even slightly healthy.
Три:  That no matter how uncomfortable or out of place you feel, you will always be able to adapt and fit in.
Читирие: That vodka has a million different uses, most of which are better than drinking it!
Пяать:  That cutomer service is certainly not universal, and the lack of can be quite hard to adjust to.

S p a i n : 
(F e b r u a r y  -  J u l y   2 0 1 4 ) 

Uno: That everything is done better in a group
Dos: That dinner should never be eaten before at least 8pm (preferably 9)
Tres: That you can't beat an ice cold glass of tinto de verano on a hot summer day.
Cuatro: That the relaxed way of life that many Spaniards enjoy is definitely one for me. (Although I do admit that it can become tiresome in certain situations!)
Cinco: That the only true way to learn a language is to live in a place that speaks it so that you can absorb all of the culture and the extra vocabulary that comes with it. Hand on my heart, my Spanish has never been as good as it was when I spent those glorious six months in Madrid.

I know I've been extremely lucky to be able to travel this much in my life, and that not everyone has had the same oppurtunities, but what have you learnt from your own country, and others if you've been abroad? Do you agree with any of the above observations? I'd love to get your opinions!

I x

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