The Third Culture Syndrome

A collection of thoughts and ideas of what it means to be a THIRD CULTURE KID and its impact on my life.
Hopefully, a place where other TCKs can find a familiar voice and others can understand us a little better

I Know Nothing About Brussels

If you look at my birth certificate, you will see that I was born in Brussels.

I prefer ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ way of doing things and chose to believe I came out of a suitcase or a cardboard box my parents were unpacking after another move to yet another house. A kind of ‘this shouldn’t have been in the kitchen towels box’ moment. In a way, it makes a lot more sense for me to have been brought into the world that way than being eligible for the Belgian nationality.

Now, I have nothing against Belgium, or Belgians, or mussels and fries as a culinary combination. But I also do not have some sort of intense yearning or connection to the land of pralines. It is just a place.

I have gone back a couple of times and have very much enjoyed the beautiful city of Bruges. Nevertheless, there is no part of me that feels…well, Belgian. Which is why I am always very surprised when asked why I never thought of taking up the dual nationality. I wouldn’tmindhaving an extra passport…but,…why would Belgium even want a citizen that feels so disconnect to it she imagines she was born in a suitcase?

What this rambling post is trying to establish is that we have entered an age in which where you were born says very little about you. We are finally acknowledging that people are a sum of places and memories and experiences. Third Culture Kids are the very essence of this combination, because our experiences are so distinct one from another and we can more easily point to the elements which make up our identity.

So, do not be daunted to look at your passport(s) and admit that this label does not summarize you. Just cherish the fact it is one of the many parts of you. This opportunity which has been given to us, to exceed borders, belong to more than one place and to a generation that is making the ‘term’ global its central attribute, is an incredible chance. Relish it!

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