Many Third Culture Kids (TCKs) struggle to answer the commonly-asked question: Where are you from? In this autoethnographic essay, a continuation of my earlier exploration of TCK experience (Hopkins, 2015), I confront my concept of home in reference to psychological research by Jerry Burger (2011), exploring the phenomenon of adults returning “home,” to place(s) that were important in their early lives. Like Burger’s subjects, I describe my experience of returning to visit, after over two decades away, the remote village in Senegal where I spent many of my childhood years. Following Tessa Muncey’s (2010) methodological lead, I structure my account using “snapshots,” both photographic and video, of my childhood life and my return visit. These snapshots, accompanied by my narrative and analysis, illustrate elements of my concept of home such as roads, language, food, and trees. My perspective on these elements provides insight into what “home” means to me.


TCK, Third Culture Kid, Concept of Home, Concept of Self, Snapshots, Senegal

Author Bio(s)

Justin B. Hopkins grew up in Senegal, West Africa. He completed an MA in International Performance Research at the Universities of Warwick and Tampere and a PhD in Composition and Applied Linguistics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Justin teaches writing at Franklin & Marshall College and has published on a variety of subjects. Please direct correspondence to JHopkins@fandm.edu.


The author wishes to acknowledge and thank his family for their support, for their feedback, and for their photographs and home videos. To Aida, as to all: kasuumaay.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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