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In: London, UK

Feels most at home: drinking hot HK milk tea

This master's year has been like nothing I imagined, and everything I didn't expect. I moved to London thinking it would be my place... and it ultimately made me realise that my "place" is in the people I love and who make me feel at home.

I've moved many times before, but this time was different. I wasn't looking for a short-term adventure, I wasn't trying to have the time of my life, I wanted to find a home.

When London didn't meet my expectations (or more so, my hopes) I was filled with fear that I'd never find that place. Meeting new people felt like a hopeless endeavour, I felt unwanted, uninteresting, and insecure. I tried to put myself out there, do more things myself, trying to bring back the "old me".

But I constantly felt displaced and different. And for perhaps the first time ever, I realised that I was tired of being different. I was tired of being the one trying to learn a new culture and make conversation with people who weren't interested in me. And I realised that I am very Asian, in values and in preferences, and that is no longer something I will ever allow myself to think is inferior.

I also realised that trying to chase "home" as a physical place is a burden that I need to let go of. Living in so many countries is such a blessing that I've been able to experience, and I need to accept that home doesn't need to be a place, and that my heart will always be split in different places, and that's beautiful, and that's okay.

So in an ironic and unexpected way, London did give me home. It gave me home in the people who continued to be present in my life. It gave me home in the people and places I missed. It gave me home in the amazing malaysian & singaporean food I was able to eat, and it gave me home in the new friendships I formed.

So long, London 👋🇬🇧

Here's to the next adventure.

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