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Lost in China: This TCK’s Story

Aidan Frazier grins ear-to-ear in China after a rough night's sleep.

Aidan Frazier is a U.S. Citizen out of water. He grew up in Yorkshire, Northern England, where he attended school, picked up a British accent and lived as a military B.R.A.T. until his father resigned. From the ages of 2-12, Frazier learned about how comfort could come in cold stone insulation of North England’s homes and that radiator heat meant joy on a cold evening. But in 2012 when his family moved back to the United States, specifically to Highlands Ranch, Colo. in 2012, he learned a different definition of comfort. Now abiding in “cookie-cutter” homes, the abundant warmth in the winters became almost unsettling for the young third-culture-kid.

“I would travel to get to a people, not a place.”

Now an avid traveler, Frazier enjoys the discomfort that comes with new situations. He says he likes it so much because it usually means an adventure is coming. Like the time when he joined a missions group to China. There, his group attempted to find their hostel for the evening. But because none of his traveling companions spoke Chinese, it became a game of showing an image of the hostel accompanied by the name to taxi drivers until someone finally recognized the destination. And so off the taxi driver whisked them into the midnight darkness. Eventually puttering up to an unlit path leading into the jungle, the taxi driver let them out and asked for his payment for the hour ride into the countryside. As the missionaries traversed the path, they passed abandoned buildings with broken windows. Spirits were…uneasy.

Finally, sleep.

After they walked what felt like an endless path, they reached their destination: a line one would find in an amusement park. The path led to a metal gate, where a Chinese man greeted them and led them to their beds. The five men would share two twin beds in a plastic tent. The tent stood at approximately 8×8 ft and had puddles that soaked their gear along the edges. Frazier says that even stripped down to his underwear, he was soaked in sweat and condensation by the time he woke up. The women would enjoy the air-conditioned apartments, where they would later meet their roommates: the many insects of the jungle.

Traditionally exciting events are Frazier’s normal. When his classmates tell him about how they will travel to Italy after graduation, he didn’t find it exciting. “I’ve been four times!” Now, Frazier looks forward to approaching travel with a new goal. “I would travel to get to a people, not a place.”

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