Recommended reading: April 17, 2018

I’ve read a lot of great expat and TCK related articles in the last week. Here’s a taste of some of my favourites…

Searching for a Motherland as a Black Latina
Huffington Post
I lovelovelove this beautiful piece about a woman searching for a place that embraces her multiple connections, a place that could be her home. The emotion of her search will resonate with CCKs everywhere.
For Afro-Latinx of the U.S., there is no place from which to return. We are like magical black unicorns no one knows exist or endeavor to acknowledge. Even the term Afro-Latino is contentious, a relatively new denomination heavy with the baggage of colonialism… Our plurality is not our deficiency — it is our fortitude and great fortune. As Americans, black people and Latinx, theory of true globalism is writ across our DNA. So let us leave footprints around the globe, accepting that home is everywhere and nowhere.

Moving your children abroad: tips for an easier transition
Multicultural kid blogs
This is an excellent post about preparing to move your kids overseas. So much good advice here, including practical tips. (A lot of this same stuff came up in a seminar for transitioning families I ran in Tanzania last week.) Highlights include: nurturing both the parent-to-parent relationship and the parent-to-child relationship; ways to get kids thinking about the new place; and ways to help kids farewell the place they’re leaving.

Saying goodbye to the little red dot
Megan Williams
Very sweet piece of nostalgia from a TCK preparing to leave her home abroad – Singapore. I appreciate the way she reflects on how difficult the initial move overseas was, but how thankful she is in hindsight for all that came with it.All in all, I count my blessings every day that I have had this opportunity, and can’t thank my parents enough for being brave enough to uproot our lives and start fresh out there.

10 things to know about teenage Third Culture Kids (TCKs)
China Family Blog
Simple but good. An accurate list of things that are true in most teenage TCKs. I write about a lot of it this in Misunderstood – these aren’t character traits, but rational reactions to the experiences of Third Culture life. I particularly appreciated point 9, about TCKs’ need for stability and routine, with suggestions for how this might be achieved even in the uncertainties of international life.

Stop blaming your host country for all of your issues
The Culture Blend
I know I linked to a TCB article last week as well, but I couldn’t go past this great piece. Jerry points out a common expat blind spot, gently but firmly, and explains why this is dangerous for us. Taking the easy way out and blaming a whole country for my bad day sets me on a path to a destination I don’t want to end up in.

What no one tells you about living abroad
Lovely little piece about reverse culture shock, the unexpected shock of feeling foreign in the place you used to call home. But the author also talks about falling in love with sleeps home all over again. We have to get to know our old haunts all over again when we come back.

How much otherness can we take?
Ute’s International Lounge
Interesting reflections on research showing that “living abroad affects the fundamental structure of the self-concept by enhancing its clarity“. This makes sense, if there is engagement and reflection upon the differences between cultural constructs: “living in other parts of the world encourages us to reflect on the various cultural values and norms that we encounter both at home and in the host cultures.

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