"So you're an Australian citizen?" "No I just lived there for a number of years." "Oh so you were born...

"So you're an Australian citizen?"

"No I just lived there for a number of years."

"Oh so you were born here but moved overseas?."

"No I was born in Singapore and then moved overseas."

"Ah I see, so your parents are in Singapore now."

"No my parents are in Malaysia. I lived there for 3 years."

"Wait what?"

So this is pretty much the standard conversation I have with many people in regards to finding more about where I'm from. The notion of 'home' to me is more or less ambiguous due to spending a number of years in three different countries: Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia. Long story short, I was born in Singapore and have retained my Singaporean citizenship, even whilst studying in Australia for five years. Malaysia was where I completed my last three years of high school, and I currently am residing in Australia to fulfil my undergraduate university course. 

The end of the year had fast approached, which only meant that I, the world class procrastinator, had to frantically stuff clothes into my luggage to accommodate for the 3 whole months I'd be away from Sydney. I tend to overpack because I feel a sense of security knowing I have a full luggage (I'm weird). Airports are lovely because they're home to some of the most sincere hugs, tears, kisses, hellos, and goodbyes.

I trudged through the airport with my heavy carry-on bag and finally, nestled myself into my seat in the airplane where an eight-and-a-half hour flight awaited me. But not to fear, I had my trip sorted.

The beauty of day flights is that you are privileged to have your head in the clouds whilst witnessing a fraction of 71% of the earth's surface. Being above the waters and clouds just situates you in a heavenly environment. 

Despite the occasional turbulence and my low motion sickness tolerance, I survived the plane trip and awoke to see islands forming, a city forming.

"Cabin crew prepare for landing." 

Some people say home is where the heart is. Some people say home is where your parents are. Some people say home is where the wi-fi connects to. In truth, these are all valid arguments. But to me, home is where I find the most personal attachment to. Where I did so much growing as an individual and where I pushed my boundaries to see what I was capable of.

Despite having lived in Malaysia for a shorter period of time in comparison to the other two countries, my last three years of high school were the most memorable times of my adolescent years in which I learnt soo much. But let's stick to three: 

#1: Don't be so naive 
Being a teenager is a new stage in your life. When you are exposed to the deviousness of peer pressure, relationships, new friendships, and obstacles in which you learn to overcome. Sometimes what you think is best for you at the time, or what you want so badly, or when you believe everything someone says, or when someone tells you they love you, is really just that stage of your life when you are prone to being naive. 

#2: Do something you never thought you would
High school really taught me to be take opportunities as they unfold, challenge yourself, try new experiences, and ultimately, shaped me into a less introverted individual. I never expected to be a part of academic competitions which enabled me to travel, running for school captain, a touch-footy fanatic, speaking at an Oxford-Cambridge debating forum, or becoming a decent long-distance runner which enabled me to earn a place in an athletics conference for international schools. In all honesty, I almost chickened out of the competition because I knew who I'd be up against. But hey, do something you never imagined you would. Don't be afraid to try. The worst that can happen is you don't come first, or you make a few mistakes; but the growth you make as an individual really exceeds those shortcomings. 

#3: Make every second count
I loved high school. The friends I made are irreplaceable, and who knew you could be friends with teachers? I was so reluctant to emerge out of my safe, high school bubble, and feared university life. Opportunities will come flying in your face, TAKE THEM. You never know when they may come around again, or if they even will. Be a blessing to others, leave your mark in your schools. You don't want to be just another face in a school picture. I may have not made the biggest impact on my school but I know I contributed what I would've liked to and am so blessed to be surrounded by a lovely school environment. So give back to the people or the places that had shaped you to reach your full potential.

Love your family, love your friends, love your enemies, love your teachers, love yourself, love your home.

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