Wednesday, September 13, 2017

TCK Identity: I have never been a local anywhere

A house boat in Rotterdam - I sometimes wish I could live on a boat and just choose where to live depending on the seasons! (This will probably not happen as I can get terribly seasick if the water is too choppy!)

I have lived in a number of places, traveled and revisited places where I know the streets, BUT I have never been a local anywhere. As a adult third culture kid and avid travel blogger (Check out my travel blog!, I often come across posts with titles that have "... from the eyes of a local", "Explore ..... by a local", "A local guide's to ....", or something of similar titles. I wish I could tell you how much I would love to write "...from a local's perspective" but I can't because it would seem like a fraud. I can tell you about my experiences from that place. Especially if its a place I've lived in and discovered as a local resident.

Experiencing a place as a traveler is so different that living in a place as a resident. Your needs are different. There's an adjustment period that can be challenging. From feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, to elated happy feelings, satisfaction, acceptance, and peace. Its a whole gamut of experiences.

As far as "local guides" go, I will probably never write one because it would feel a bit disingenuous to my readers. When I do meet people who have lived their whole lives in that place, I ask them for their recommendations and tips because that is the best way to discover a place whether you've moved there or traveling there.

Wandering the streets of Delft

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  1. I understand what you mean! I'm only 22 but have 3 "homes" around the world... I think it takes me 5+ years before I really feel like a local. Once I know the ways of the place and find myself participating in those ways I start feeling like a local. I've been in Italy for 2 years now and I in no way feel like a local yet!

  2. I completely agree, it's hard to ever feel like a local, even if you've lived abroad somewhere for years. You're always learning about new places and new things to do!

  3. I lived in 5 countries. (Ireland 2 months, Australia 6 months, Russia 3 months, England 3 years and Hungary 19 years)
    I consider Hungary my home. I don't think I am a local at any of the oter countries, although in England I will probably become one within a few years.

  4. I loooove your view on being a local somewhere. I always ask myself what it actually means.... Great thoughts!

  5. Yes, I understand that feeling of not being a local anywhere! I cannot say that I have such a thing as a hometown. In my supposed two hometowns (located 50 kms from each other), I don't have a lot of people I hang out with, etc. I just have people from all my country and all over the world... But, people who are real locals can have great insights about a place, you are right!