in leiden, netherlands

This is the story of a TCK who:

  • grew up in japan, among other places
  • moved back “home” to the U.S. at the age of 13 and suddenly felt anywhere but “home”
  • is addicted to traveling
  • never knows how to answer when asked, “where are you from?”
  • is restless but is starting to calm down
  • is a yoga teacher (and addict)
  • is a beach snob (it’s hard not to be after having lived in the Caribbean)
  • has an intense curiosity about… everything
  • has strange attachments to places she’s been to a million times
  • has even stranger attachments to places in which she’s never set foot
  • is addicted to heights
  • wants to learn and share what she learns
  • knew she was going to become a teacher from a young age
  • has a soft spot for fashion
  • is still finding her place in the world
  • is learning that it’s not about where you are, it’s about who you’re with
  • wouldn’t trade her life for anything
  • has found that home is sometimes found in a person and is grateful everyday for the “home” she has found in her husband

Current Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Next Destination: Tokyo, Japan

Pit stops along the way: Birmingham, AL … Riyadh, Saudi Arabia … Las Cruces, New Mexico … Camp Zama, Japan … Stillwater, Minnesota … Guayama, Puerto Rico … Doha, Qatar …

How I became a Third Culture Kid:

I blame my parents, as most TCK’s do. And when I say “blame” what I really mean is I thank my lucky stars, ok actually I thank my adventurous yet hard-working parents, for handing me (on the gold platters found in the Riyadh souks) a life of wonder, curiosity, new cultural and linguistic experiences, tastes for fantastic world cuisines, and most importantly, my addiction to life-long travel. 

My dad works as a civil engineer while my mom is a teacher. The job offer to move from their home state of Alabama to the desert of Riyadh came before I was born, but still sealed my fate. Throughout the smattering resume of worldly pit stops, Japanese kindergartens, military bases, and exotic travel vacations, my brother and I were raised. 

If you ask is the infamous question, “Where is home?” we get a little baffled. Read this post, “15 Answers to the question, ‘Where are you from?'” to try to understand. Don’t worry, I’m still (happily) confused too. 

How I became a “Third Culture Teacher”:

Simple. I am a TCK who became an International Teacher. “Not that simple?” you say? Fear not, you’re not alone. Many are understandably confused by what I consider “normal.” 

After spending my childhood in Japan, but my high school, university years and first year of teaching in the comfortable tundra of Minnesota, there was no question as to where I would “settle.” The answer was that I would “settle” by traipsing around in the world to locations that I had yet explored. I also knew I wanted to be a teacher from a young age (classic oldest-child-raised-by-a-teacher syndrome), and I was lucky enough to know that the International Teaching world existed, thanks to my mother who had made this her career while living abroad. 

What is an “International Teacher?”

The International Teaching world is not always well known or understood in the U.S. and is often confused with the idea of “a great job for a 20-something wanderlust who can teach English while finding herself.” That DOES sound like a great job, but this is far from what an International Teacher does. Instead of teaching English, we teach all of your typical subjects (IN English) to expat, or shall we say THIRD CULTURE kids in International Schools. While most of the students are children of expats from other nations, some of these students are from the local country. These “local” students are now becoming part of the TCK population by spending a majority of their day being educated in another language (English) and making friends with other kids from around the world.