I haven’t written anything for a while on my childhood in the Middle East, though for numerous reasons as of late it’s been on my mind a lot. Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been different had I not been born in Saudi Arabia and every time that I think about it, I can’t help but be so thankful for that experience and for my parents choosing that life. It has completely shaped who I am, created in me a passion for this planet, a belief in equal rights and in respecting each and every person for who they are and where they come from. But it has also brought some interesting and often awkward moments throughout my life. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh at reactions from people and situations my childhood abroad have put me in, but nonetheless, it’s part of who I am and something I’m proud of.
Not familiar with what the term 3rd culture kid means? I wrote about it here.
You know you’re a 3rd Culture Kid when…
+People ask you where you’re from and you question if you should give the real answer or make something up.
+You give the real answer to the question about where you’re from and it takes 10+ minutes to explain, followed by a round of questions that take even longer.
+Your birthplace is an interesting topic of conversation.
+You grow up knowing you probably won’t be able to drive by your childhood home as an adult or go back for holidays.
+You spent years not fitting into your “home” country.
+You feel as if the world is your home, not one particular place.
+Living with people of different religions, different ethnicities, and different beliefs isn’t a bad thing, it’s wonderful.
+You crave the food of your birth country on a regular basis…. like schwarmas and will go any length to get them.
+Your memories of childhood revolve around travels to exotic countries, near and far.
+People you meet later in life will never fully understand the way you grew up.
+You are met with a round of questions going through Immigration booths around the world asking why you were born in _____________.
+That melancholy feeling you can’t quite shake about missing that home you had as a child never quite goes away.
+The world becomes your passion and your instincts are to help make it better.