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Reverse culture shock was a doozy for me! Find out more about my experience in my book Reverse Culture Shock.
Catalunya from above
This is a great piece. I love the line: “you can see both sides but that fence just isn’t very comfortable.” How true. I think that in a way, for a Third Culture Kid to start feeling like they belong in a community, they have to let go a little bit of the other parts.
I think that sometimes we hold on a bit too tightly to what we used to have: the customs, the cultures, the places, and although that is great, and can have some advantages, it also means that we haven’t really been ready to embrace the city and culture we’re living in today.
It is tough as a TCK, but I think that once you have moved to a place, and you are planning on living there for the foreseeable future, maybe it’s time to accept it as your current home, and integrate fully by joining groups and clubs, reading the local paper, learning the language fluently, and building long-term relationships with the people who live close to you.
Thank you for your comment, Olivia. I agree, it’s difficult to find a balance between holding on too much and letting go. I think we hold on because those cultures have also become a part of our identity and letting go can feel like we’re letting go of ourselves. At the same time holding on too tightly can hold us back and stand in the way of integration. It’s a fascinating issue!
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