What happens when mom and/or dad get transferred abroad, and the whole family packs up to move to a completely different language and culture?
Third Culture Kids are people who grow up and spend their formative years in a culture other than that of their parents. Their experience is one of travel, adventure and pluralism, but with the flip side of often lacking that grounding feeling of “home” that so much of us take for granted.
Risa (pronounced Lisa), is our guest today on The MultiPod, sharing her story of being born in Japan, moving to Brazil as a baby, before heading to the United States a few years later, then Mexico, and back to the States (but in a different part), all by the time she reached college.
Along the way, she became fluent in three languages, faced tough choices, and spent a lot of time in airports. This life has helped her navigate her multipotentiality, particularly her career choices and perspectives on time, money, and facing the unknown.
Join us for a fascinating discussion on Third Culture Kids, the traveling multipotentialites.
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You’re about to Learn…
- Why it’s a struggle to answer the question, “Where are you from?”
- How Risa has set her own definition of what “home” can be.
- A shared experience that is very common in the TCK world: strangers who have never met form an instant bond.
- Is being a TCK a badge of honour or an element of struggle?
- Understanding the missing sense of belonging.
- Is language by definition a part of the TCK definition and identity?
- How she uses her TCK influence on her work, especially in education.
- What was one of the best things her parents asked her to do, when as a teenager they moved to Mexico City.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Risa’s Puttyverse profile.
- Risa’s Website & Portfolio.
- Article – Reflections on Being a Third Culture Kid (TCK).
- “So Where’s Home? A Film About Third Culture Kid Identity.” Highly recommended, only 9 minutes!
- Article – Cultural Lessons in a Name.
- Internations: The leading network & guide for expats.
- Book – Third Culture Kids 3rd Edition: Growing Up Among Worlds, by Ruth Van Reken and Michael & David Pollock.