Traveling through life as an adult third culture kid, is a very special experience. Really, I had not heard much on the topic before April 2019 when scrolling though my Kindle I accidentally ran into a blue book, which changed my life completely.
This book by David C. Pollock, Ruch Van Reken, and Michael V. Pollock called Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds turns out to be well known among younger TCK’s and people interested in the subject.
Since last year I have joined several Facebook Groups and even one massive Watsup ran by Jay the TCK. That one gives about 500 new messages each morning (!) – because of time difference! But at the strat of this lockdown I never felt more connected and excited to be a part of a global community who all know and seek to find ‘home’ in the hearts of others.
Soon I learned though that in the group I was the oldest member, most being in the 20’s. I am in mid 30’s, and have slightly different challenges and topics of interest in this age group.
So I volunteered in a few projects where university students are researching this topic, found it very interesting to reflect how my childhood travel actually affected my career choices and my personality. I even found so much motivation to apply to a Master in Psychology program in my country of birth (still waiting on the results from the interview!)
Learning about my identity has truly made an impact and I wish that no other child or adult who traveled in their childhood would feel too different to fit in. The beauty in who we are in the difference, the colors of the world making us Global, not local citizens!
Here is my first video on this topic which I really hope to expand especially are more rainy days are due in July – now that I have a mini-home recording studio. 🙂
Here is a short summary of what I talk in the video:
What is a TCK?
A Third Culture Kid or TCK according to David C, Pollock, Ruth E. Van Reken, and Michael V. Pollock in their historic book ‘Third Culture Kids: Growing up among worlds’ define as “children who have grown up in cultures dif…
These children can be kids of military parents aka as military brats, corporate, missionary, or in my case it was being a child of a professional violinist, who traveled the world and reached to people’s hearts with her music.
Adaptability and ability to change. Changing work situations, to new cities, new environments, new homes. Flexible to change a job for a better one as well as changing cities is not hard (not as hard as changing countries anyway.
Wide worldview and empathy. Having a wider view of the world makes us aware that the other person is not us, they may in fa
Builders of cultural unity. I always saw myself as someone who embraces differences on similarities among people, on acknowledging and enjoying the differences! I have been noticing the people who have grown up surrounded by one culture really struggle to understand and enjoy the difference with others.
Unresolved grief and loss. This theme is always with us because we had to let go of so many good things, good strong friendships, activities, and places we loved. As a child, it is hard to learn about distance communication, even now with all the technological advances, especially during isolation times due to COVID-19 many of us felt that the connections simply is just not the same over the phones. Psychologically this unresolved grief can take it’s toll so I do believe counseling and close friends who you can trust can really help to allow ourselves to feel sad and to grow with this reality.
Insecurity and lack of confidence. Actually, this also shapes our identity, because in new cultures very quickly we learn that things are different from before and in fact may be the opposite. Before people used to laugh at my joke and now they find it offensive! So we learn to keep out eyes open and be confident only when we know for sure that we are understood – this usually only among other TCK’s.
Lack of ownership of one particular culture. This was an issue for me especially growing up because I tried so hard to do things and be someone of that culture. Like I did living in Canada but I constantly felt I was not successful. As the ‘blue book’ suggests, home for a TCK is everywhere, but especially in the hearts of other TCK’s.