“We were constantly moving to different countries and adjusting to new things. It was such a free feeling. I’m glad I didn’t have a traditional upbringing” - quote from River Phoenix an American actor.  

During my 15 years of existence, I have shifted between 3 distinct continents. I have lived in New Jersey, India and as you can probably imagine the third being Britain. When meeting many new people and disclosing to them my exposure to unfamiliar areas they generally comment on the struggles of relocating. I’m often told, ‘it must’ve been difficult for you,’ but when I contemplate in solace on whether it was a hassle, I find myself saying no. I have grown to find moving quite enjoyable as I am now accustomed to the lows and the highs of changing from one place to the other. 

My earliest memories are of America a place which I called home for 7 years. I started kindergarten which is equivalent to reception in America. I cherish those early mornings full of heavy snow attacking my friends and I as we awaited the yellow school bus. My school in America had three school buses at the time as the pupil population wasn’t very high, but the journey was equally enjoyable. When I lived in India my school had an astonishing amount of yellow school buses. On my first day, whilst returning home I was utterly confused on which bus would take me home. Eventually I told someone about my problem, and they directed me to the right bus right before it was about to leave. There must’ve been about a few dozen buses which was considerably higher than those my school in America had. I was used to taking the yellow school buses to school as it was the normal mode of transport. You can imagine my surprise when I came to Britain. I was thoroughly gobsmacked that pupils here didn’t have free yellow school buses at all. Alternatively, students had to arrange their own modes of transport for school. As a matter of fact, the public transport in the UK is phenomenal.  

On a slightly more serious note, I struggled to gain acceptance in the places I travelled to. My accent always stuck out like a sore thumb. When I shifted to India, not many had accepted me as I had a noticeable American accent. It was odd compared to the local people and they struggled to see me as one of their own despite me being born there. It was unimaginable to me how an accent could impact my acceptance into society which I had desired and I had courageously voiced out to those who judged me for it. I was bolder as a kid and had no angst when it came to confrontation. This act was seen as brave and then lead to acceptance which was surprising as I hadn’t realised the impact of my words could change people's prejudice about me. With time, I adopted an Indian accent which had a hint of American. When I relocated, after 2 years, to the UK, I faced a similar problem in. My way of pronouncing certain words was very different and many found that hilarious. I was ridiculed for my pronunciation as my peers found my pronunciation amusing. Having been through this it didn’t bother me as much. I knew that I would develop a British accent, so I didn’t really care much this time. Now, I have a British accent which sounds like those around me despite the occasional mispronunciation.   

Overall, I would say that I have enjoyed moving despite the few weeks full of hardship and adjustment. Shifting has exposed me to different cultures and diversity which I will be eternally grateful for. Relocating has also built my ability to interact with different people and has improved my communication a necessary skill required in the modern professional world. I have learnt so by shifting. I cannot fathom the possibility of staying in one place for my childhood. I am thrilled that my parents decided to move even if at the time I didn’t want to because at times change is exceptionally strenuous. Like River Phoenix said there is a free feeling of being whatever you can be associated with moving.