Nomad Online

Where are you from?

Balmoral

I find that question difficult to answer.

Born in Japan to Korean parents who were living in the jungles of Borneo at the time, I never lived in Korea for any length of time, or in Japan for that matter. After Borneo, we moved to Singapore. From Singapore to Australia. Hobart, Tasmania, to be specific.

We travelled the world back then and home was never a country or its people, but the four walls of our house. We were home as soon as we walked through our door. But all that changed when we moved to Australia.

Home, since I was eight years old, has been Tassie. That’s where I spent most of my childhood. That’s where I made life-long friends. It’s where my family started putting down roots.

I left though. Thinking I would return in a couple of years, I packed my bags and came to Sydney, itching to see what the mainland had in store.

The years flew by. I married and started a family of my own. I started to put down roots. I made new friends and found a welcoming community. Now Sydney, in all its diversity, has slowly become home.

I guess where I’m from depends on where I choose to start. It also depends on the answer the questioner wants to hear. Usually it is out of genuine curiosity, because I look the way I do. But the truth, no matter where I start the story, has always managed to single me out as the “other”; as someone who doesn’t quite belong anywhere.

Stupid question.

Especially when I’ve fallen in love with the country, its people and long to be part of its evolving history.

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