Once upon a time…
…there was this book called Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. Some refer to this book as the Bible for people who have “spent a significant part of [their] developmental years outside the parents’ culture.” Apparently, we are people with specific cross-cultural abilities and special challenges defining who we are in the world.
Significant here is that TCKs were indeed kids when they formed their "third culture" — that interstitial space where community is built beyond traditional tribal and geographically confined social rituals. However, what happens when these TCKs grow out of being children? “Adult TCKs”? Adult kids?
We don’t think so. Two generations have shifted since the term “third culture kid” was coined in the 1950s. Current Millennials (who are now also not just kids anymore) are experiencing their cross-cultural upbringing with unprecedented global connectivity. We’re moving from a model of overcoming isolation (common for pre-Internet TCKs) to a conversation about how to most healthfully, effectively and responsibly thrive in multiple worlds simultaneously.
We’re no longer just “growing up among worlds.” The world is growing up through us.