Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Third Culture Kid

I think one of the allures for expat living is all the travel potential.  So, when a long, three day holiday falls in the middle of the week, it is a great opportunity.

During this last holiday, we went to Thailand.  While we were checking into our hotel, I watched my son start a conversation with a young teenager and his parents in the lobby.  When I went to help him wrap up his conversation so we could get to our room, the man proceeded to tell me that my son was confused about where he was from.

He kind of gave me that look with it too.  You know, the one where you speak about a child, but the child is within ear distance so you raise your eyebrows so the child cannot hear what you are discussing.  Yes, THAT look.

"Really, how so?" I ask.  I admit, I knew what was coming next, but I had to ask anyway.  Maybe the inquisitive eyebrow made me do it, but it was probably my own curiosity.

"Well, he says he is from America. Turkey. And Dubai?"

My response?  I smiled and confirmed,  "It's True."

Just as Third Culture Kids, or TCKs as they are sometimes referred to, have a challenge to explain, or they feel it is too long to explain, I sometimes feel the same.  Not that I don't want to explain, but "Where are you from?" can be a loaded question.

The man understood, but no one could be as thrilled as I was about that conversation.  I love that my son loves America, Turkey, and Dubai. The first time I asked him where he was from when he was about 3 years old, his answer was Istanbul, Texas.

He loves them all equally, and perhaps Dubai just a little bit more because this is where his home is. He is like a spokes person for Emirates because he is always giddy with excitement whenever he sees that flag painted on the tail of the airplane as we head home.

So where are you from?  Where is home?  Maybe we are confused.

There is a nice film on the internet that interviews several TCKs called Where is Home?  During the discussion, one of the kids answers that question with "Home is where you want to be."  Dubai. Home Sweet Home...

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