more thoughts on TCKs

Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts on TCKs… why I feel that being a “third culture kid” helped explain my unique upbringing, but does not do much to explain my adulthood. After all, I have many adult friends who are “third culture” in their outlook on life and their lifestyles, but who were not raised multiculturally, and many adult friends who were TCKs in childhood but who now seem only minimally different from other adults who have been incredibly stable since the day they were born.

Well, but then I came across this:

This video shows some TCKs who are a lot more like me… Adults who have no sense of home at all, who travel perpetually, who don’t settle down in relationships. Yes, that sounds a lot like me. And even my “third culture” adult friends (the ones who were raised monoculturally but somehow seem to have become more TC than most TCKs as adults) don’t seem as caught in this cycle as I am. So this video made me cry, because I resonated so much with it.

Now, most of the characters in the video moved around a lot more than I, or other missionary kids, did when they were children. Their parents have also continued to migrate around the world over the years, and many of their parents are in cross-cultural marriages.

These details are true for many TCKs, especially children of corporate businesspeople and humanitarian workers, but are not true for many MKs (children of missionaries). Missionaries, if married, most often married to people from their same home culture, so their kids are raised bi-culturally, not multi-culturally. Missionaries usually live in one or two “fields” over the course of a career, not dozens.

My experiences are more like those of the TCKs portrayed in the video, but my parents are indeed missionaries, both American, who raised me entirely in two countries only. But somehow, I became one of these “mega” TCKs?!

By the way, I’m not wondering for myself, I’m wondering about the sociological phenomenon. What is the difference between a constantly-transitioning experience, and a one-big-move experience???

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