I’m a Third Culture Kid

Posted: 20th September 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

Taken from my blog: www.ChasingHiromi.com

Who are Third Culture Kids?

A global nomad. International school alumni. A world traveler. A military kid.
TCKs are people who spent a majority of their childhood years in a culture different from their parents’. TCKs develop their identities while living in foreign countries, thus associating with the culture of the world rather than a “home” culture. Typically, TCKs experience a sense of not belonging to their passport country when they return to it.

So what’s my story?

I was born to a German father and a Japanese mother and spent a majority of my life in other countries. I was raised speaking both languages but never felt like I truly fit in with the other German or Japanese kids. I’ve never thought of Germany or Japan as “my home”. I’ve been in the US for about 7 years now – 3 years in Boston, 4 in Los Angeles – but I’m constantly reminded that I am not from this country. I have to deal with work visas and immigration, and hate checking the “non-resident alien” box in official forms. Yet, my life and everything I love is here. But I know that one day I’m going to be forced to leave.

This is how I know that I’m a TCK:

1) I struggle to answer the question “where are you from?”
2) I speak three languages but have trouble writing them (besides English, thankfully)
3) When asked, “Where are you from?” I give long explanations
4) I feel odd being in the ethnic majority
5) I look like everyone else around me but still don’t fit in
6) I have the urge to move to a new place every couple of years
7) I go into culture shock upon returning to my “home” country
8 ) I have two passports that I don’t feel connected to
9) I don’t know where home is (besides saying, “planet earth”, which is usually not accepted)
10) My life story uses the phrase “Then we moved to…” three (or four, or five…) times.
11) I think VISA is a document that’s stamped in my passport, not a plastic card I carry in my wallet.
12) I sort my friends by continent not color or religion.
13) I believe that football is played with a round, spotted ball.
14) I often speak of my “home” country in the third person as if it were not mine.
15) I have friends from more than 30 different countries.
16) I realize it really is a small world, after all.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I do have CFS too. Started when I was around 17. I used to be a very sporty person, yet, there was a time where I could barely take care of myself. But after some research on the matter, I’m getting better slowly and surely - hopefully.


  2. Anonymous says:

    reply to n. 11)  I don’t need a visa for most countries I have 3 passports…