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  1. #1
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Default Any other Global Nomads/Third Culture Kids?

    I was just wondering if there are any other TCKs here. So many of the members are outside the US that I figured there might be a few of us TCKs here as well. (For definition, see Third Culture Kids - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    If you were a TCK, in what area(s) of the world did you live? What did you like and dislike about being a TCK?

    If there are any here it would be fun to trade a few stories!
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  2. #2
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    I don't think I belong to this group, despite growing up half and half - half in Canada, half in England (actually it was more like a 60/40% split), because my parents are English. Does that count?

    I know a TON of people here in Montreal who speak 3 languages - the language of their immigrant parents, French (because immigrants are required to send their children to French schools in Quebec) and English (because it's pretty hard to avoid learning English). I'm jealous of them and their language skillz.
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

    "please give concise answers in plain English" - request from Provoker

  3. #3
    Phoenix Incarnate Sentura's Avatar
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    i don't think i am a TCK per se, but i've lived in both denmark and poland as a kid. i don't think either culture has influenced me other than me knowing the languages. in the same way i consider myself to be rootless in terms of detachment from everything, i consider myself to be culture less for the same reason.
    i hunt INXPs for bounty
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    I don't think I belong to this group, despite growing up half and half - half in Canada, half in England (actually it was more like a 60/40% split), because my parents are English. Does that count?
    I think actually that might "qualify" you, Kangirl. Even though those are relatively similar cultures, they still were different countries you grew up in with (sort of) different languages. I've always wanted to go to England, lucky you! And yeah, I am quite impressed by people who are fluent in several languages, I only know parts of a couple other languages besides English.

    Sentura - The feeling of being cultureless does sound suspiciously like a TCK. However, if necessary we'll just make you an honorary TCK!
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  5. #5
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Yup, I'm an Army Brat! I guess the civilian term for that is TCK.

    My Mom is German, my Dad is from Atlanta. Georgia.

    I've lived in three cities in Germany and several U.S. states to include: Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, and Florida. Traveled through New York, Georgia, New Mexico, Washington, Las Vegas (NV).

    I've been to British Columbia (Vancouver), Italy (Pisa), France, several spots in Mexico (border towns, Cancun, and Cozumel), and am planning a trip to Costa Rica soon.



    I loved moving around alot. Doing so probably reinforced my already strong extroverted disposition. I don't think I'd be as ESTP as I am without having successfully navigated all the social situations that were part of my childhood. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I can identify with anybody at some level, all I need to do is talk to them for a few minutes and invariably we will have something in common, and a new relationship is born. That's how Promoters do it.

  6. #6
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira View Post
    I was just wondering if there are any other TCKs here. So many of the members are outside the US that I figured there might be a few of us TCKs here as well. (For definition, see Third Culture Kids - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    If you were a TCK, in what area(s) of the world did you live? What did you like and dislike about being a TCK?

    If there are any here it would be fun to trade a few stories!
    Please tell us of your TCK childhood, Amira.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Hi Halla, that is cool. I have a friend who was in Germany recently and it was really neat looking at all her pictures. How old were you when you were there? I agree that moving around so much as a kid really helps with relating to very different people.

    I grew up in a jungle in S. America, with time also spent in a city nearby. I really liked the Indians I grew up with and it was a lot of fun being around all the animals there are in a jungle. However, even when I got away from my mom nobody in the village would ever let the little sunburned kid sneak into the jungle and explore. Rats! A lot of my memories have to do with canoes and river trips, which were fun for me (but not my mom, who had to keep us safe!). I don't exactly miss the hot and humid climate, but I do really miss the food and the people and the scenery. I've been back for over a decade now, but I still feel the effects of being a TCK in a lot of ways. For one thing, I think being a TCK gives me a very different perspective from most people I meet and I still have different ingrained cultural norms. I can't explain it really, but one small way that I am still having to learn how to fit in is in my childhood country there was not so much eye contact as in the US. I still fight shyness with looking people in the eye too long, and most Americans make eye contact all the time - other than that, I am hardly a shy person, either!

    For me, I think the mobile lifestyle accentuated certain things about my personality too, namely loyalty to friends (I left/was left by friends so often, many of whom promised to keep in touch but didn't) and the planning side of my personality, so as to eliminate uncertanties. Yeah, so realistic, like life can ever be certain.

    I like putting down roots as deep as possible but the idea of packing still makes me all excited.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  8. #8
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Amira, your background sounds so atypical - I'm guessing it's atypical for your current social context which is why you identify as a TCK?

    I've heard the term before and while it was never broken down from me, I picked up from context that it was some young and groovy postcolonial slang term so I think I fit into it.

    I grew up in on the west coast in the states and in a capital city somewhere in East Asia. I know what feeling culture shock (*hard*) feels like - it's not a joke that it can give you physically ill symptoms (that...and/or the massive pollution).

    Now, I love being bicoastal bicultural bilingual, etc. I think for an ENXP it's a good match and makes me even more open and understanding of other POVs and gives me a default "neutral" stance on a lot of things. I can really go with the flow, to a fault. I rarely try to exert my own way of doing things on others. I'm very non judgmental and having also had the opportunity to travel a little to other countries in east asia as teenager also helped with that.

    Growing up in another country and being exposed to different cultures, especially when you are old enough to be conscious and responsible for yourself but young enough to still be developing mentally and physically - it's a pretty cool experience.

    It's only now in retrospect that I realize how atypical and also typical my experience was. There are lots of Asian Americans who grew up in two countries, to different extents, however, not as many who grew up Asian American and then returned to Asia.

    As a teen, I used to long to be in the states in some home grown suburb hanging out eating pizza and guzzling soda at the mall with other teenagers (and driving!) but now I wouldn't swap my teenaged experience - even with the requisite loneliness and feelings of isolation.

    It really does shape you in your formative years, and as I have always been an "outsider" and out of the box as far as just my personality etc., what being in different cultures has taught me is that I should never expect to be 100% accepted or a part of a culture.

    Even when I was in the states, I grew up in NorCal where there are huge immigrant and people of color communities and it's pretty mixed. I'm very comfortable being uncomfortable with ambiguity, chaos, not understanding the language, being "the only one" of "my kind" in a group setting. I pick up a lot of meaning from context and nuance. I'll eat almost anything once.

    Basically - the experiences coalesced with what being an NP or an EP are all about. I feel like I have a lot of objectivity because my own points of reference are not fixed or singular.

    The bad: I don't quite fit in 100% anywhere. I have to find my own communities that I can call "home". Being a TCK for me cements an identity as an outlier. Ignorance seems even more ignorant to me. I can accept you, I can't fathom why you can't accept me or hang your own issues on me.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  9. #9
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Hi Cze Cze,
    Yeah, I have seen culture shock make several people sick. Fun, fun.

    I actually am on the West Coast right now in the US, FYI. I grew up in S. America but I am quite fascinated with a lot about Asia and have several friends there.

    I'm very comfortable being uncomfortable with ambiguity, chaos, not understanding the language, being "the only one" of "my kind" in a group setting. I pick up a lot of meaning from context and nuance. I'll eat almost anything once.
    Whoa, that is interesting. It made me realize (remember?) that I actually am almost more comfortable with being the obviously different one. People make subconscious allowances for you if you look really different and the little bit of extra openness from them makes it easier for me to connect, but if you look the same but don't fit in culturally they react differently to you.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  10. #10
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira View Post
    Hi Cze Cze,
    Whoa, that is interesting. It made me realize (remember?) that I actually am almost more comfortable with being the obviously different one. People make subconscious allowances for you if you look really different and the little bit of extra openness from them makes it easier for me to connect, but if you look the same but don't fit in culturally they react differently to you.
    Yes, expectations are MUCH higher for people who "ought" to know better. So if you are ethnically native to a country and don't speak the language, the community is much harsher to you than if you are a foreigner. If you're foreign, there are no expectations on you.

    If you are an obvious and actual 'outsider' meaning non-native to the culture - depending on the culture and how you are perceived, reactions can range from either be people being very pleased you tried to learn some basic phrases, contempt that you can't master their way of life, or curiousity/apathy because you don't fit in.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

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