What is a ThirdCultureKid?

So, you’ve been messing around here, and you’re going “Okay…so its a regular blog of a random guy’s thoughts. But what’s a ThirdCulureKid?” Well! Its not that hard to understand. 😉

The standard definition would be:

“A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture.”

However, to add a bit more fun, I copied this from TCKidNOW.com

You know you’re a TCK when…

  • “Where are you from?” has more than one reasonable answer.
  • You’ve said that you’re from foreign country X, and (if you live in America) your audience has asked you which US state X is in.
  • You flew before you could walk.
  • You speak two languages, but can’t spell in either.
  • You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.
  • You have three passports.
  • You have a passport but no driver’s license.
  • You go into culture shock upon returning to your “home” country.
  • Your life story uses the phrase “Then we moved to…” three (or four, or five…) times.
  • You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
  • You don’t know whether to write the date as day/month/year, month/day/year, or some variation thereof.
  • The best word for something is the word you learned first, regardless of the language.
  • You get confused because US money isn’t colour-coded.
  • You think VISA is a document that’s stamped in your passport, not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
  • You own personal appliances with 3 types of plugs, know the difference between 110 and 220 volts, 50 and 60 cycle current, and realize that a trasnsformer isn’t always enough to make your appliances work.
  • You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.
  • You think the Pledge of Allegiance might possibly begin with “Four-score and seven years ago…”
  • Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
  • You believe vehemently that football is played with a round, spotted ball.
  • You consider a city 500 miles away “very close.”
  • You get homesick reading National Geographic.
  • You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that can support foreign alphabets.
  • You think in the metric system and Celsius.
  • You may have learned to think in feet and miles as well, after a few years of living (and driving) in the US. (But not Fahrenheit. You will *never* learn to think in Fahrenheit).
  • You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
  • Your minor is a foreign language you already speak.
  • When asked a question in a certain language, you’ve absentmindedly respond in a different one.
  • You miss the subtitles when you see the latest movie.
  • You’ve gotten out of school because of monsoons, bomb threats, and/or popular demonstrations.
  • You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
  • You have frequent flyer accounts on multiple airlines.
  • You constantly want to use said frequent flyer accounts to travel to new places.
  • You know how to pack.
  • You have the urge to move to a new country every couple of years.
  • The thought of sending your (hypothetical) kids to public school scares you, while the thought of letting them fly alone doesn’t at all.
  • You think that high school reunions are all but impossible.
  • You have friends from 29 different countries.
  • You sort your friends by continent.
  • You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
  • You realize what a small world it is, after all.

That pretty much describes the average ThirdCultureKid! (Otherwise known as a “TCK.”) To summarize, a TCK is a child who was born in one country, but has lived in another/other country/ies.

There are other sub-sections, such as Cross-CultureKid, Military Brat, Missionary Kid, Diplomat Brat and more! ThirdcultureKid is the overall definition. If you’re one (or more) of the sub-sections, you’re a TCK.

For more information, check out…


TCKidNOW.com -The official TCK homepage!

BBC – TCKS, Citizens of everywhere and Nowhere

BuzzFeed – 31 signs you’re a TCK

ThirdCultureKids – Growing up among Worlds   By David Pollock & Ruth E. Van

About the book, if you’re not a TCK, I’d say just browse websites, but if you’re a TCK yourself, I highly recommend you get it.

So! You’ve added a new word into your brain’s knowledge base. Good for you! 😉


State Tennis Championships – My First

I’ve just returned from the State Monthly Tennis Championships. Boy, it was tough. Being my first ever tennis tournament, I was really pleased at how it turned out! On the whole, it was an unforgettable, amazing, hopefully-to-be-repeated experience!

Since I have both a British Passport, and I was Homeschooled (Graduated just a few months ago! Hip hip Hooray!), it was extremely hard in the past years to be able to join any type of competition or club. All clubs, such as Scouts, St. Johns Ambulance, Chess Clubs and sports were usually related Continue reading State Tennis Championships – My First

Currencies and Currencies.

A few weeks ago, I was in Vietnam, for a Family Reunion. (Which was super fun by the way!) Shortly after landing, I was boggle-eyed to see that all the price tags at the airport were in hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese $$!! Talk about a weak currency!

And for the next 10 days, yet another currency entered my life, the Vietnamese ‘Dong.’ Being a ThirdCultureKid, [FYI if needed, a TCK is someone born in one country, and raised in another country/countries], one thing in the ‘TCK Petri Dish’ was this:

“You [TCK] juggle the price tag amount around into several other currencies to judge whether the price is reasonable before deciding that you’re actually not going to buy it after all.”

I found this Continue reading Currencies and Currencies.

20 Things Missionaries Know to be too True

What its like for a Missionary Kid (Sub definition of TCK) in a nutshell. Amazingly written!

Mission Abby

We have been in the mission field for about a year now, and through our highs and lows I have noticed some unexpected things about being a missionary. I can’t speak for everyone, but here are some things that I think a lot of missionaries will agree with me on!

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Airplanes vs Buses

Airports. The wondrous fast paced world moves around at an alarming speed. Air Traffic Controllers, Security Checkpoints, Finding your Gate. A rare experience. Exciting isn’t it?

Buses. Wait at the bus stop for a bus. Sit down (or stand in an overcrowded city bus), then 10 minutes later, get back out and continue with your business. You do it everyday. Don’t even think twice about flashing your travel card at the entrance to pay, and digging for spare change is more bother than its worth.

Now, would you believe me if I said that I think traveling on buses is an absolute memory to treasure, a moment to delight in, and a wide-eyed wonder? And that Airports are Continue reading Airplanes vs Buses

The Odd One Out

The Odd One Out. That perfectly describes me. I live in a not-so-big town, well, not big by Western Standards. Unlike those giant cities, Hong Kong, Singapore or even Kuala Lumper, that exhibit hundreds of ThirdCultureKids just like me, I live in a city where I could count the number of Westerners under 18, on two hands. Maybe even one…

Continue reading The Odd One Out