Self-doubt hit me after writing this blog’s first post.

How much of my life has really been impacted by being a third culture kid? How would my limited view-point be relevant to other TCKs out there? How can I write about the experiences of returning to one’s birth-culture, when I only spent four years back there, before jetting off to the Wonderful Land of Oz? And in Oz, whatever cultural dissonance I face is surely more akin to a migrant’s experience, rather than a third culture kid’s?

And the big one: am I really a third culture kid? Aren’t TCKs meant to closely identify with their ‘second’, formative culture? I don’t.

The preceding paragraphs illustrate one of the costs of being a TCK. I am often not sure of… well, many things. Like a leaf, I am tossed from one way of thinking to another.

Ruth E. Van Reken is an adult third culture kid herself, who has researched and written widely on the Third Culture Kids and Cross-Cultural Kids phenomena. I have read articles on her web-site (site under renovation as of 29 Dec 2008), and her book ‘Letters Never Sent’. Reading the latter requires a box of tissues on the side. Non-TCKs may think it unhealthily introspective.

She says in her article ‘The Paradox of Pain and Faith’ (found by scrolling down a couple of pages at

The first reality TCKs share is that they have been reared among and in more than one culture.

I am a third culture kid.

Recommended Reading:

Have a browse through Ruth Van Reken’s articles at

Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds‘ by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken is a highly recommended book on this topic. I’ve ordered it from It is also available at In Australia, Word Bookstore lists this as out-of-stock, but available on special order.

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