A Third Culture Kid’s Soul

There are two souls in this TCK heart of mine.

I want to explore this beautiful world, marvel at nature’s wonders, discover all the richness it has to offer.
I want to go further and wider, see and smell and taste things I have not encountered before.
I want to meet people who are different from myself, listen to their stories and learn something new.
I don’t want to go somewhere twice because there is still so much more to explore.

I want to stay in one place and dig into its soil, inspect its little quirks and hidden treasures.
I want to go deeper and longer, see and smell and taste things that are familiar and remind me of home.
I want to build connection with people and see them develop into friendships, I want to experience belonging.
I want to know what it feels like to come home to a place and people and be fully myself. 

Two souls rage inside of me.
Telling me to go.
Begging me to return and stay.

As a TCK, I roam the globe in search of adventure, discovery and wonder.
I get lost in different cultures, smells and friendships.
I leave pieces of myself behind whenever I have to say goodbye.
And then I travel to find them again.

People like us have pieces of ourselves scattered across this globe – and travel gives us access to our complete selves. 

Quote from the excellent keynote presentation by Sean Ghazi at the Families in Global Transition Conference 2018 in The Hague

Any other Third Culture Kids who can relate?
How do you deal with this battle inside of you? 

Writing for Five Minute Friday today.





Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

17 thoughts on “A Third Culture Kid’s Soul”

  1. Your post reminds me of the song “Come back Home” from the movie The Greatest Showman! I think we all yearn to belong. I know I do. I’m in the 69 spot this week.

  2. Im not a TCK, so to speak, but we moved a lot when I was a kid, so I understand a bit about the desire to fit in and find community vs. the desire to roam and travel and learn. The summers are my roaming time, and the school years are my community times.

  3. Beautiful post! I identify with both of the longings- for the excitement of exploring the new but also the comfort and safety of the familiar.

  4. Reminds me of T.S. Eliot:

    “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

    Therein, I think, is the key to dichotomy; we travel in search of something we lost at home.

  5. I’m not a TCK but I get the desire to see and experience new places and cultures. But I’m pulled more to return to the safe and familiar. Keep roaming and share your world with us.

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