We are pioneers. The world is constantly getting smaller, and with every passing day it becomes cheaper and easier to travel from place to place without much hinderance or frustration. Europeans can now pass freely into any EU nation as though they were citizens of the country they are visiting, America has an open visa allowing many countries that are part of the EU and several others to spend up to half a year in the country just by getting online and requesting a form, and we can hop on a plane and arrive in almost any country across the planet with an easily acquired international visa. Every element of our rapidly shrinking world has pushed us towards a global-culture of cross-national-blending.
As Third Culture Kids, ones that spent the past 20+ years of our lives traveling the world and coming to the sudden realization of just how impacting our development has been, we are in the unique position to be the leaders of an era. There are hundreds of thousands of us on this Earth, TCKs scattered absolutely everywhere. Many of them are young, being developed right now as you read these words, because of the massive push for companies to be more globalized. Families are moving everywhere, taking their children with them and creating a wave of TCKs that is so massive and so powerful that the influx of upcoming TCKs is starting to look like the wave of Baby Boomers that flooded the world after the Second World War.
This wave puts every single one of us in a unique position, one that we should be extremely proud to be a part of. Being a TCK is hard. It’s complicated and confusing, it makes growing up in this world strange and almost surreal. At the same time, it’s rewarding, exciting, and beautiful. We get to see the world unlike any other culture, through a lens that doesn’t see race or creed or social structure. We see people, in their entirety, on a level that no one else can imagine. And though we may have grown and developed in a way that stole our home, our heritage, or ability to sit still, and our need to have permanent and long-lasting relationships, we were given the gift of being able to shape the world.
Our gifts make us the pioneers of this generation. Companies are pushing to globalize, to find ways to blend their products and services into locations that are completely foreign to where they’ve been operating before. To any First Culture Kid, the ability to view the details of that new culture are extremely difficult, if not impossible. To TCKs like us, it’s just a natural ability, one that we can use to guide, to give advice, to assist in development, to mix with the public, and to learn how to push a company’s public image.
But what’s really important, what really brings everything together, is our ability to help the massive influx of TCKs that are being created right now. One day, these TCKs are going to grow up and enter into the world just like us. They are going to leave their respective international schools, travel somewhere different, and lose that sense of belonging from wherever it was that they lived. They are going to be just like us, wandering the surface of the world looking for something meaningful and world-altering to do. They are going to seek meaning in using their TCK upbringing by using their cross-cultural blending to change the world.
But they don’t have to do any of it alone. Unlike us, who entered into our TCK life without the power of the internet that exists today, these TCKs can hear from people just like them about how beautiful growing up a TCK can be. And that gift of helping all those new TCKs is just one of the many things that makes our lives so beautiful. After all:
We are pioneers.