Third Culture Kids,
To all of you who can’t identify a “home”, who don’t know which culture they identify with, and who have more stamps in your passport(s) than an international diplomat, I raise my glass to you.
As a TCK, you’ve probably fallen victim to some of the consequences of being a TCK: cultural homelessness, wavering cross-cultural identities, or the inability/fear of commitment. These are things that materialize in every aspect of our lives, from the constant feeling of alienation, to the inability to commit to a job/house/partner, to the frustration felt when asked the question “where are you from?”.
(Also, I would just like to add my two cents about the question “where are you from”. Do you mean my place of birth? Passport country? Ethnicity? Country of parents’ origin? Where do I currently reside or where did I grow up? BE MORE SPECIFIC. Ugh.)
After an intense year long thesis project, I can confidently tell you that we are the prototype of the future.
When TCKs move, it is unlike moving neighborhoods or even states. Moving across state lines does not require a child to relearn cultures, languages, behaviors, and social cues. This process of learning and re-learning lays the groundwork for TCKs to develop a wide range of cultural acceptance, high educational attainment, and multilingualism (everything that corporations are looking for in todays global market!)
Although we might have difficulty finding comfort in one single geographic location, we tend to find comfort and feel at home with similarly situated people: other TCKs! Look at it this way, we can find comfort with friends and family who are probably dispersed across the world: we’ve got a home wherever we go!
It’s a blessing in disguise. We see the world through curious eyes and reap the benefits of multiculturalism.
A fellow (struggling) TCK