Permission to Settle

When people used to ask me, “So where do you want to be in the future?”, I would always say somewhere abroad. Staying here or settling down was never an option.

TCKs never settle.
That’s a fact.
Something that has seeped into my veins and become part of my identity.
I cannot settle.
I am not allowed to settle.
I am made for a nomad life, wandering from place to place in search of the next adventure, a sense of home.

After I graduated from university and started to work, something changed.

I have become more at ease with staying in a place. When I moved into my apartment, I was brave enough to hang up pictures and make myself comfortable for the first time. No matter how long I would stay, I wanted it to look like my place.

There have been battles raging inside of me.
Flashes of envy whenever I read about my TCK friends taking a job in a faraway country and living the global lifestyle.
Inner urges to look out for other job opportunities, to keep on moving.
Unknown feelings of actually liking my work and the people I’m with every day from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds.

The world I had longed to explored has been put right in front of me.

The thought of being stuck in one place and becoming too comfortable still creeps me out and I hope I won’t fall into this trap. But when people ask me now where I want to be in the future, I tell them,
“I don’t know.
But for now, I want to invest myself in the work I’ve been given.
To be present with the people in this place.
To make a home and get to know new parts of myself here.
I give myself permission to stay and settle.

To my fellow TCKs: Have you settled somewhere? How do you feel about settling vs. constantly moving?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People Lover. Writer.

7 thoughts on “Permission to Settle”

  1. Thought I for nomad’s life was made;
    here today, and then I’m gone.
    Do not look to me for aid;
    my house is empty, I’ve moved on.
    And then He came, as in a dream
    through a door whose hinges creaked with rust.
    “My sheep aren’t stupid as they seem;
    you have to stay, and earn their trust.”
    I thought He was so very wrong,
    and disbelieving what I’d heard,
    said, “I’m just one sheep among the throng,
    so surely I can’t be their shepherd.”
    He smiled, and lit a cheap cigar.
    “When you use My words, you are.”

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