2017 – the age where the only constant is change, culture eats everything for breakfast, lunch and dinner, diversity and equality is on top of the agenda – and empathy and people skills are at the fore.
The age when millennials train to become digital nomads and travel across the globe taking jobs in remote places, because this, apparently, is the future.
This is the time being raised a Third Culture Kid has become my advantage. My life as a TCK (and brief Londoner) has taught me how to become ‘future me’, it’s given me tools and an approach by just living.
My identity is a result of living in constant change.
1. Say good bye properly
This is actually one of the hardest things for me. Much easier to pick up and just leave, right? Hmm. This summer I travelled back to Istanbul for the first time in 16 years to say hello (and goodbye) to what was once my home for several years. I had a lot of lingering feelings connected to this city. And had many places to revisit.
The smells, sounds and experience did bring me right back to the future. And, even though, the political and societal landscape has changed in Istanbul, it did remind me of my antecedent home. I now have no desire to return, and I can focus on my next trip!
I plan to dedicate many future holidays to visiting my other previous homes: Rome, Tokyo, Vienna, Belmont, and London.
2. Say hello properly
Dive in. I was once invited to the school counselor who needed to speak to me about being “too social”. He meant, why wasn’t I just hanging out with my classmates like a normal student? Why did I decide to make most of my friends outside school? Back then, I really didn’t understand what he meant. I felt that the only way to experience living in all these different cultures, was to completely immerse myself in them. I doubt this conversation would ever take place today.
3. Communicate through humility
Sounds like a cliche, but being humble and empathetic to all humans is probably my most important learning from growing up a TCK. I truly believe that everybody have their right to their perspectives, opinions, and thoughts. And what is their truth may not be mine. Not understanding it could spark conversation, debate and further communication. Being against someone's values the same. Most hate is driven by ignorance. And the only way to create a more positive environment here on Planet Earth is to at least listen and try to understand each other. Don't agree? Let's talk about it.
P.s. 31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid