14 May 30 (Dis)Advantages Of Being a Third Culture Kid
Whenever I meet new people, there is that one dreaded question that always comes up within the first ten minutes of conversation. “Where are you from?” I’m American by accent, British by bank account and Czech by birth – but answering questions about my cultural identity is not as easy as ABC.
Third culture kid or TCK is someone who was raised in a different country than the one they were born in. Personally, I only moved once – to Austria at the age of 13 – but many of my old international school classmates, most of whose parents were employed by the UN, moved to a new country every five years or so.
It seems swell, doesn’t it? Your life sounds and looks like a permanent exotic vacation and your Facebook check-ins are full of names most of your friends cannot pronounce. But being a TCK also has its disadvantages. From constantly feeling a little homesick to never quite feeling at home, being a TCK makes you a little different from all of your “normal” peers.
Buzzfeed ran two popular articles about TCKs – one about the things they have in common and the other the hard decisions they have to make. In my article, I want to give a balanced – albeit inevitably subjective – account of what being an international baby jetsetter is like. First, let’s look at the positive things and then delve into the deep dark abyss that is a TCK’s restless soul. Don’t worry, I’ve included gifs to make it less terrifying.
1. You always have the coolest stories.