"Where are you from?" …. "Where is home?" …. arrrggggh!!!!

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    How do you all deal with that question?

    After an endless number of awkward introductions where the other person thought it was a good idea to pop this question, I’ve realized that the only marginally acceptable way to answer without causing awkwardness (because the other person realistically expect a single answer and a giant list will break the conversation flow, among other things) is “a bit of everywhere”, or “all over”.

    And recently there’s an even more annoying variation of the question: “Aren’t you going home for Christmas?” To which I want to say, “Define home for me please?”

    Arrrghhh!!! People who just expect that everyone has a simple geographical history. Why.


    Hahaha definitely! I now say “from nowhere” or only “well it’s a bit complicated”. And then the usual questions follow up: what do your parents do as a job, what was your favourite country, how many languages can you speak, bleh.
    Although saying I’m going home for Christmas seems easier, as it personally means leaving for your parents’ home to join your close family 🙂
    I do agree it is quite interesting to see that they need to put us in a category! I just love meeting third culture kids, when I ask them where they’re from and they start getting confused, I just go straight to the point: “you’re a global nomad as well, aren’t you?” 🙂


    Yup, typical problems of Third Culture Kids. I tell the Thai here that I’m not from anywhere. If they insist, I say I am an American who was born in Haiti. If a Caucasian here in Thailand asks, that person is also a wanderer, so I might add a bit more, if asked. I also ask them about their travels, though.

    I got super tired of people asking me if I’m going “home” for Christmas, but now I just say, “No” and ask where they’re going to go. My parents passed away in 2008, my siblings are scattered from Bethel, Alaska to New York state, I have a daughter in Kentucky and a son in LA. Where I lived in the USA has been sold and gone for years.
    I can relate to the Third Culture Kids website:


    You know you’re a TCK when …
    – “Where are you from?” has more than one reasonable answer.
    – You’ve said that you’re from foreign country X, and (if you live in America) your audience has asked you which US state X is in.
    – You flew before you could walk.
    – You speak two languages, but can’t spell in either.
    – You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.
    – You have three passports.
    – You have a passport but no driver’s license.
    – You go into culture shock upon returning to your “home” country.- Your life story uses the phrase “Then we moved to…” three (or four, or five…) times.
    – You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
    – You don’t know whether to write the date as day/month/year, month/day/year, or some variation thereof.
    – The best word for something is the word you learned first, regardless of the language.
    – You get confused because US money isn’t colour-coded.
    – You think VISA is a document that’s stamped in your passport, not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
    – You own personal appliances with 3 types of plugs, know the difference between 110 and 220 volts, 50 and 60 cycle current, and realize that a trasnsformer isn’t always enough to make your appliances work.
    – You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.
    – You think the Pledge of Allegiance might possibly begin with “Four-score and seven years ago….”- Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
    – You believe vehemently that football is played with a round, spotted ball.
    – You consider a city 500 miles away “very close.”
    – You get homesick reading National Geographic.
    – You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that can support foreign alphabets.
    – You think in the metric system and Celsius.
    – You may have learned to think in feet and miles as well, after a few years of living (and driving) in the US. (But not Fahrenheit. You will *never* learn to think in Fahrenheit).
    – You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
    – Your minor is a foreign language you already speak.- When asked a question in a certain language, you’ve absentmindedly responded in a different one.
    – You miss the subtitles when you see the latest movie.
    – You’ve gotten out of school because of monsoons, bomb threats, and/or popular demonstrations.
    – You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
    – You have frequent flyer accounts on multiple airlines.
    – You constantly want to use said frequent flyer accounts to travel to new places.
    – You know how to pack.
    – You have the urge to move to a new country every couple of years.
    – The thought of sending your (hypothetical) kids to public school scares you, while the thought of letting them fly alone doesn’t at all.
    – You think that high school reunions are all but impossible.
    – You have friends from 29 different countries.
    – You sort your friends by continent.
    – You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
    – You realize what a small world it is, after all.


    Army Brat. I always answer the where are you from with: everywhere and no where. Or do you mean where I was born or where I lived the longest or the place I loved the most? Only place that feels even close to home is a military post/base. LoL


    I hear you!

    Elizabeth Sharp

    I am a TCK too. I get it all. And relationships are the hardest. lols. This is halarious!

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