Finding belonging in a world that feels foreign

Finding belonging in a world that feels foreign

Feeling like you don’t belong anywhere can be an overwhelming and isolating experience but there’s a unique beauty in our journeys that we often overlook. Whether you come from a mixed cultural background, migrated between countries throughout your life or belong to a minority group, how can we find belonging in the midst of feeling like the odd one out?

My story: A life of mixed cultures and migration

I was born into a family that extends across multiple cultures. My parents come from different countries and cultural backgrounds, which heavily influenced my early life. While this diversity was enriching, it also set me apart. I never fully fit into any single cultural mould. This feeling became even bigger when my family and I moved between countries, with England becoming my third home.

In each new place, I often felt like an outsider, struggling to find my place in communities that seemed to have well-defined boundaries. The questions people asked – sometimes out of curiosity, other times out of suspicion – reminded that I was different.

“Where are you from?”

“What’s your background?”

“Where is that name from?”

“Am I hearing a foreign accent?”

These questions, while innocent to some, highlighted my perpetual state of transition and the difficulty I had in pinpointing my identity.

Cultural confusion – who even am I, really?

For many of us who have migrated, come from mixed backgrounds, or belong to a minority group, the challenge of not fitting in is all too familiar. Society often tries to categorise us into neat boxes, but our lives defy such simple classifications.

We often experience cultural confusion, feeling like we’re constantly switching roles to fit into the context we’re in and never truly being ourselves.

It can also feel isolating when you look at people around you and you don’t see yourself reflected in any of them.

The first time I stepped into my therapist’s cabinet, the session started something like “but who even am I, really?”.

Finding belonging in difference

While these challenges are real and significant, there’s also a unique strength and beauty that comes from our experiences.

So, how can we find belonging even when we feel like the odd one out?

Embrace your story. Your journey is unique and there’s power in that. Embrace the richness of your background and the experiences that have shaped you. Your story is your own: it’s different, beautiful and worth telling.

Create your own community or join the one that feels right. Look out for communities that feel close to your heart and your own life experiences. If you can’t find the right one – create your own.

Celebrate diversity.  It’s about time we admit that diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Your ability to navigate different cultures and perspectives is such a valuable skill in today’s globalised world. Celebrate the diverse parts of your identity and how they contribute to who you are today.

Practice self-compassion. On the days when you feel lost and confused, practice self-compassion and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel out of place sometimes. Your feelings are valid and you’re not alone in this experience.


Feeling like you don’t belong anywhere is a common experience for many of us in today’s world. But within that feeling of being the odd one out lies an opportunity to redefine belonging on our own terms. Embrace your story and let it be a beacon for others who feel the same. 

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