Category Archives: Third Culture Kids

My love/hate for social media as a Third Culture Kid

When I first went to college in 2002, I had a very hard time fitting in because of my background and inability to answer the notorious “where are you from?” question consistently and confidently. Ironically, it was in a city where its residents claimed to be some of the most open-minded and diverse people lived: San Francisco. I always wished that there was some way to know who knew what it was like to come from an international school or hate answering the aforementioned (read: dreaded) question wherever I was at in order to have some potential friends to relate to, and nowadays, there is that resource and it’s found in social media. Looking back and looking at how it’s shaped a new generation of TCKs, I almost wish that resource never came. Continue reading

Voices in my head: accents, manners of speech, personality shifts from the TCK experience

Last month, I started a thread on the Facebook Third Culture Kids group which read as follows: “Anyone ever find their accents and manner of speech change very noticeably depending on whom they’re talking to or what their mood is in one language? When I’m mad and arguing, I sound like I’m a Massachusetts kid, when I’m saying “yo’ mama” insults, I apparently sound Texan, when I’m upset and closing off, I sound somewhere between a generic North American with a British influence. It’s almost as if these accents and speech patterns are different people or personalities altogether. Or when I’m speaking Chinese, Japanese, or Tagalog, I find myself gravitating toward a different personality with certain conversation topics being more prevalent speaking in one language over the other (and it’s not due to limited and various vocabulary proficiency).” Continue reading

Third Culture Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Recently, I got into a disagreement with a friend in my program over one of my life experiences, what he dismissed as “too fantastical to be real”. My immediate response after putting up with this kind of reaction was to cut him down and tell him that his lack of life experience and his limited life experiences clearly indicate he isn’t as open-minded or as worldly as he believes himself to be, in spite of his own travel experiences and being in a program that is focused on international relations. It was only after I realized that getting this defensive about someone’s inability to believe was that this relates to both the life experience and the Third Culture Kid experience.

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Vignettes: a multilingual exploration

Back in high school, an assignment given to us was to put together a series of quotes from any source to form an idea or theme that, upon reading all of the quotes in a series, would allow the reader to discover the deeper meaning with all of the voices put together. So here I am with a vignette I made, which is purposefully in multiple languages. If you have any doubts–get on Google Translate or search for the where these quotes were all taken from. Continue reading

Cross Cultures Symposium Summary

I’m back from Indianapolis and jet lagging now. How can I jet lag after only being in a time zone difference of three hours? Because I was stranded in two airports keeping me awake for over 27 hours. Continue reading

How couch surfing and staying in hostels made me a better human being

Every now and then, I find myself getting depressed or angry about the state of the world and the way some human beings act. Sometimes they are awesome, showing compassion, other times, they are cruel and parasites, taking whatever they can and not caring about the rest of the world and its people. After moving around as a Third Culture Kid and traveling, I had a sudden realization that made a lot of sense. Continue reading

“Where are you from?” doesn’t clarify, it categorizes

One of the questions that constantly annoys and irritates I and many fellow Third Culture Kids is the dreaded “Where are you from?” that no matter how many times we are asked, it doesn’t seem to get easier to answer, let alone tolerate. Continue reading