Kola Olaosebikanstatic1.squarespace.com

Kola is a speaker and blogger with a passion to live to make a difference. You can catch her funny, inspiring, and thought provoking opinions on YouTubeCHECK THEM OUT! Really good stuff! She also hangs out on Twitter and Facebook and of course her lovely blog.

What is the best thing about being a TCK?

The best part of it is the feeling of being able to relate to multiple cultures. For me, it’s not just limited to my Nigerian heritage or American environment—this feeling extends to all cultures. I feel just as at home in Beijing as I do in Lagos because I’ve developed a sense of identity that is rooted in something beyond where I’m from or where I live. I think that having a background in more than 1 culture makes it easy for me to have this mentality that I can fit in anywhere without flinching

What is the worst thing about being a TCK?

Being misunderstood. What I define as an ability to relate to multiple cultures can easily be misinterpreted to mean that a person is trying to be all things to all people or that the person is abandoning their parent’s culture. This misunderstanding is unfortunate but I can’t say it bothers me too much.

What kind of impact do you see TCKs making in the future?

It’s hard to tell. A person’s ability to make an impact has little to do with whether they’re TCK or “pure bred”. That said, TCK’s unique perspective of cultures and how we fit in can be a very powerful tool in any environment that requires hybridization or bridging the gap between cultures. For example, (and this is a very current example) many agricultural companies in the US are looking for opportunities in West Africa. Naturally, they don’t want a “pure bred” West African that doesn’t fully understand American culture and they don’t want a “pure bred” American who doesn’t fully understand West African norms. A TCK is the perfect fit for this type of opportunity. These are the types of opportunities where we truly have a distinct advantage.

Monie Baruwastatic1.squarespace.com

Monie Baruwa is a diplomatic kid who grew up all over the world. She recently founded Countless Miles which is all about crafting the perfect vacation for you while relieving you of the burdens of trip planning, deal hunting, and allowing you to jet right away into your vacation!  What makes her company unique is that they plan experiences and not just trips.

What is the best thing about being a TCK? 

What I have truly enjoyed from this experience is the diversity. If I never left my “comfort zone”, where I was born and raised, Lagos, Nigeria, I wouldn’t have been exposed to the variety of experiences I have gained so far in life. I have been blessed to gain insight to other people’s cultures, cuisines, languages and way of life. I can say that I have grown both mentally and physically through the diversity of my experiences.  I’ve made friends from all over the world, been appreciative of the diversity of cultures and learned so much about my abilities to accomplish my dreams and goals even outside of my “comfort zone”.

What is the worst thing bout being a TCK? 

Not necessarily “the worst thing” but I’ll say being away from your parents culture and living in another country may have some not so positive side effects on an individual. Being gone for so long, you lose touch of the tradition. When you go back to visit, you experience a huge reverse culture shock. People ask you questions like “but you grew up here, why are you acting different now”.  You begin to question your actions and you honestly can’t seem to understand how you survived in such a chaotic and disorderly environment growing up. We forget that this chaotic place is what most locals call home – they haven’t been exposed to anything else. You start to feel a huge gap between you and the friends you left behind before you moved overseas.  Your ideals and mentality now differs. You don’t seem to fit into what you called home while growing up. It’s a huge reverse culture shock.

What impact do you see TCKs making in the future ?

I believe that TCKs of our generation are ready to make an impact in both the developed and developing world. By nature we are all trained to be hardworking and most are determined to make a positive impact in the world. Though, I see most of us making an impact in developing countries. We are so passionate about making the way of life in our home countries up to standards with the countries we’ve spent most of our adult lives. Tons of talented graduates are moving back to their home countries to bring about positive changes. If we don’t change the future, who would?

Michael Oghiastatic1.squarespace.com

Michael describes himself as an Arab-American, TCK, and Global Citizen. He is a copy editor at the Daily Sabah in Istanbul. He has an affinity for Louisville, flip-flops, sociology, Lebanon, and  drums.He is also a really really smart guy so definitely hear him voice his opinions on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What is the best thing about being a TCK?

For me, it’s the ability to connect with almost anyone on a personal level. I attribute this to the fact that culture is so inherent to our experience (as well as travel too), that we tend to surprise people by knowing at least a little something about so many things. This translates into an almost instant personalization. And when we aren’t familiar, we’re curious!

What is the worst thing about being a TCK?

The identity issues! I have so many. And this isn’t helped by the fact that, for me anyway, nationalism is something I just can’t identity with. Also, I only learned English growing up. So, sometimes even our own language differences can be tough because I feel like I’m not “TCK enough” because I’m only fluent in one language.

What Impact can TCKs have in the future?

That’s a good question. I think right now, it’s a bit premature though. I feel like a lot more discussion and research needs to go into the TCK experience. What I’d hope this could demonstrate then is where are we most effective, what resources need to exist for us, and how can we leverage our experiences and dispositions to really make a lasting impact. In particular, to help create more open, pluralistic, and understanding communities.