“31 Signs You’re A Third Culture Kid” via Buzzfeed

I came across this list on Buzzfeed today. It shows a glimpse of what life was like for me growing up overseas. Though some of them are no longer relevant to my life (#8), a lot of the things on this list will be true as long as I live (#2, #16, #27).

 

According to sociologist David C. Pollock:

But, of course, you knew that already.

But, of course, you knew that already.

Ssuaphotos / Via shutterstock.com

1. You can curse convincingly in at least five different languages.

You can curse convincingly in at least five different languages.

GraphJam / Via cheezburger.com

2. To everyone’s confusion, your accent changes depending on who you’re talking to.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

3. And you often slip foreign slang into your English by mistake, which makes you unintelligible to most people.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

4. You’re really good at calculating time differences, because you have to do it every time you call your parents.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

5. But you also have your computer programmed to help you out when your math fails.

But you also have your computer programmed to help you out when your math fails.

Rega Jha

6. You start getting birthday wishes several hours before your birthday, from your friends farther east than you.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

7. Your passport looks like it’s been through hell and back.

Your passport looks like it's been through hell and back.

Charles Taylor / Via shutterstock.com

Or, more likely, your passports*, in the plural.

8. You have a love-hate relationship with the question “Where are you from?”

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid
Miramax Films/Paramount Vantage

You have both a short and long answer ready, and you pick one depending on who’s asking.

9. You run into your elementary school friends in unlikely countries at unlikely times.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

10. You’ve spent an absurd and probably unhealthy amount of time on airplanes.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid
Paramount Pictures

11. And you definitely know your way around jet-lag recovery.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

12. Your list of significant others’ nationalities reads like a soccer World Cup bracket.

Your list of significant others' nationalities reads like a soccer World Cup bracket.

Handy, huh?

13. And your circle of best friends is as politically, racially, and religiously diverse as the United Nations.

And your circle of best friends is as politically, racially, and religiously diverse as the United Nations.

14. Which is great, except that you “hang out” more online than in real life.

Which is great, except that you "hang out" more online than in real life.

XKCD / Via xkcd.com

15. So when you do see your best friends, you lose it a little.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

16. You’ve had the most rigorous sensitivity training of all: real life.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

Always take your shoes off in a Thai household, but never show the soles of your feet to an Arab.

17. You get nervous whenever a form needs you to enter a “permanent address.”

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

18. You know that McDonald’s tastes drastically different from country to country.

You know that McDonald's tastes drastically different from country to country.

And you can rank them from best to worst.

19. You’re a food snob because you’ve sampled the best and most authentic of every possible cuisine.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

20. You convert any price to two different currencies before making significant purchases.

You convert any price to two different currencies before making significant purchases.

CVM / Via shutterstock.com

21. You don’t call it “home.” You call it “passport country.”

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

22. You often find yourself singing along to songs in languages you don’t speak or understand.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

23. You miss BBM, but Viber and WhatsApp will do for now.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

24. You’re the token exotic friend in your non-TCK crew.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

25. Love it or hate it, you have a strong and well-informed opinion on the I.B. system.

Love it or hate it, you have a strong and well-informed opinion on the I.B. system.

26. The end of the school year was always bittersweet because so many people moved away.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

27. And, no matter how many you say, good-byes never get easier.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

28. But the constant flow of new friends more than made up for it.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

29. Now you feel incredibly lucky to have loved ones and memories scattered all over the globe.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

30. You know better than anyone else that “home” isn’t a place, it’s the people in it.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

31. And you can’t wait to see where your life adventure takes you next.

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

One of my life goals is to spend more time outside of the United States than in.

I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it!

See the original post here: 31 Signs You’re A Third Culture Kid.

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Categories: Life Abroad | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on ““31 Signs You’re A Third Culture Kid” via Buzzfeed

  1. My 11 year old just read this – Quote: no 18! KFC is funky weird in all Middle Eastern countries! Unquote.

    • I haven’t had the opportunity to go to KFC in Egypt yet, but I remember some very weird items on it’s China menu.

      • I went to KFC in Cairo – near the museum years ago. It was not as it should have been – my friend said it was cat (it wasnt).

  2. That’s the interesting thing about KFC: because its menu varies so much from country to country depending on the local tastes, it is one of the most successful international companies.

  3. Found your blog through the awesome “don’t date a girl who travels” repost, and then found this post.

    Thanks for introducing me to the term “Third Culture Kid”. I could definitely relate to a lot of this list and the Wikipedia link. I’ll have to look up “trans-culture kid” and “global nomad” too now. I’ve just started a blog about moving back to England (one of my passport countries) which is making me wrangle with my identity again:
    http://unsettledliving.blogspot.ca/

    In a nutshell: I’m born UK, majority of school in Canada, also lived in Germany and States as adult, and soon moving back to UK. (I totally have a short and long answer for “where are you from”!)

    I don’t think I’m full on TCK because I didn’t have a culture of TCK peers (except brother) to really share this with, except for a few fellow immigrant friends, which I’ve always been more prone to make. But when I was a very young army wife in Germany I sure related well to the army brats, who would be TCKs, right?

    I have a blog entry on expats I’m working on right now, but that term doesn’t seem right either, as my family got dual citizenship when I was 10. But instead of immigrant, alot of the TCK wiki entry fit such as moving solely for Dad’s work.

    Anyways, probably just a run-of-the-mill immigrant. 🙂 I will be reading your blog though, cuz of the TCK thing, but also b/c as a SCUBA diver, Sharm-el-sheikh and the red sea is newly on my wishlist to visit.

    • Always glad to have another reader, welcome aboard. I’ve always defined TCK as someone who lives and grows up in a culture that is not the same as either or both of their parents, instead creating a third culture. One that is unique to that child or family. I think your experiences definitely qualify you, but what’s most important is how you see yourself.
      Happy reading!

  4. Pingback: The Perks and Drawbacks of Being a Third Culture Kid via ScoopEmpire | A Broad's View

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