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Jun 04 2016
by Rudo Ellen Kazembe

11 Signs That You Are A Third Culture Kid

By Rudo Ellen Kazembe - Jun 04 2016
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As a third culture kid, you’ve experienced cross-cultural transitions that have moulded you into an adaptable individual. Regardless of the challenges that you may have faced as a third culture kid, you’ve been shaped into a multi-cultural individual.

1. You've mastered the ability to greet people in several languages.

Whether you land in Japan or Botswana, you will know lingo to use to greet the local people. Then you find yourself smiling like you have just won the lottery when you do it correctly. 

2. You find yourself celebrating various festivals.

Whilst ensuring that it’s more of cultural appreciation, as opposed to cultural appropriation. 

3. You had a bit of a culture shock when you moved back to your home country.

What you might have considered to be socially acceptable becomes unacceptable elsewhere. 

4. You find it hard to define your identity.

Having grown up outside your parents’ culture, constantly moving and being exposed to various cultures, you find it hard to identify with one particular cultural background. This is the reason why you dread it when people ask you, “Where you are from?”  

5. You carry a pocket-sized guide with common language phrases.

This guide is your mantra, whether you want to introduce yourself, exchange money, purchase a couple of items or ask a question. 

6. You have various time zones on your world clock on your phone.

This comes in handy at times when you want call your friends from all over the world for a quick chat or to wish them a happy birthday. Without this valuable asset, you will end up wishing your friends happy birthday eight hours earlier or calling them at odd hours like 4 a.m.   

7. You find yourself mistakenly using random slang words that are culture-specific.

Then you realize your mistake when your friends stare at you with a puzzled look.  

8. Bidding farewell doesn’t seem foreign to you.

Each time that you moved, you had to say goodbye to your newly formed friendships. Saying goodbye is now second nature.

9. You have mastered the ability to convert currencies in your head.

Before you purchase a new item, you convert it into three difference currencies to make sure that you are not overspending.  

10. You can maintain long distance friendships easily.

Being 10,000 kilometres away from your best friend doesn’t mean that your friendship will end. You always make time to keep in touch with them, whether that is talking to them on Messenger, WhatsApp or Skype.

11. The world is your oyster.

You have acquired a sense of wanderlust, which pushes you to travel somewhere new every so often. You simply can’t get enough of traveling and meeting new people. 

As a Global Nomad you will always find that there is a new adventure awaiting you. 

Lead Image Credit: Marie-Simone Kadurira via Instagram (@une_reveuse_)



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Rudo Ellen Kazembe - Lake Forest College

Rudo Ellen Kazembe is a staff Politics Writer. She is currently a sophomore studying Politics, Economics and Journalism at Lake Forest College. She wrote for the national newspaper in Zimbabwe when she was in high school. She has had some of her work republished in Teen Vogue. She is an Editor and staff writer for her College newspaper. You can follow her on Instagram (@ellen_oxox).

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