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‘Gumption’ is one of my favorite words and an accurate description of one of the many benefits of traveling. Read more about my take on it in my book Reverse Culture Shock.
What a great blog post! I agree that we do have a stronger sense of self by understanding other cultures and looking at our own with a certain amount of perspective. I think that Adult Third Culture Kids (who have lived outside their passport country) have learned to take customs as they are and try not to criticise them. It’s all about figuring out why people do the things they do. Although I think that over time, we can forget to do this. And our preconceived notions and beliefs can be a real obstacle in letting someone in. Recently wrote a post about when we try to engage and fit in with a culture (as an expat or TCK), when we decide not to engage as we don’t have the energy to put into it, and finally when we decide to engage but show that we are not like them: http://tckdating.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/are-you-a-chameleon-a-screamer-or-a-wall-owner/ It definitely takes work and effort to understand another culture and community. But I think it’s rewarding and we need to keep doing it!
Thank you so much for your feedback, Olivia! Loved your post! All 3 apply actually, depending on the day 🙂
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