You Know You’re a Third Culture Kid When….

This morning I received and e-mail from one of our NuNomad buddies, Milosh Zorica.  Milosh has been a part of our blog since we interviewed him in November of 2008 (click here for Milosh Zorica – Graphic Designer on the Move) and I again used some of Milosh’s thoughts on crossing borders in Bordering on Madness.

Milosh is a hard-core nomad who occasionally emails me from many different parts of the world.  He works as a graphic designer.  If you’d like to see his stuff, check it out at Coroflot.

Today Milosh sent this fun list on how to know you’re a Third Culture Kid and I thought many of you nomads might resonate with it!  Thanks Milosh!

You know you’re a TCK (Third Culture Kid) when:

1) You struggle to answer the question “where are you from?”
2) You speak two (or more) languages but can’t spell in them.
3) You are asked, “Where are you from?” has more than one reasonable answer
4) You feel odd being in the ethnic majority
5) You look like everyone else around you but still don\’t fit in
6) You have the urge to move to a new place every couple of years
7) You go into culture shock upon returning to your “home” country
8) You have a passport, but no driver’s license
9) You don’t know where home is (besides saying, planet earth?, which is usually not accepted)
10) Your life story uses the phrase “Then we moved to…” three (or four, or five…) times.
11) You think VISA is a document that’s stamped in your passport, not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
12) You sort your friends by continent not color or religion.
13) You believe vehemently that football is played with a round, spotted ball.
14) You feel that multiple passports would be appropriate.
15) Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
16) You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don’t know the geography of your ?own? country.
17) You’ve gotten out of school because of monsoons, bomb threats, and/or popular demonstrations.
18) You often speak of your ?home? country in the third person as if it were not yours.
19) You constantly get labeled being from another country than ?yours?. (Usually one you lived in at one point.)
20) You have friends from more than 30 different countries.
21) You realize it really is a small world, after all.

Feel free to add.

You can connect with Milosh at any of the following places:

Linked In


Milosh is a Co-Founder of Loana Technology, a media streaming and digital assets protection startup

Photo by: Loungerie


  1. I would add:
    22) You get asked a question and accidentally answer in a sentence with words from 2 different languages.

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    • I agree. I throw in some Chinese when I answer my Spanish teacher and I sometimes forget and speak Spanish with my friends. And I’m not even latino! Both my parents grew up speaking English but we speak Spanish at home… it’s complicated.

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  2. Someone recently asked where I was from and I stumbled for a moment and then said, nowhere. I like the idea of 'Third Culture.' That explains a lot.

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    • Yeah, maybe we should come up for a name for this third culture that we're
      all from.


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      • I think the term TCK has been established. It stands for “third culture kids”. There has been quite a bit if research done on it. They say we “fit” best with other “TCK’s” and often we will find a bond just because we have grown up across cultures even if those were different from each other.

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  3. Hi Carmen, thanks for the list and intro, Milosh, you're talented, great graphics and web designs. I love the list too. It's me. I have 2 passports to add to the general confusion. Might get another one day. Lol. From me in Australia via Costa Rica, New Zealand, France, Zimbabwe, Laos, the USA and even the UK, my original starting point! Happy travels to all of us:)

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  4. Well, I move like only 50 time in my live,
    actually have only two passports and no driving licence now (didn´t renew for 7 years),
    Cancelled two Visa (cc) in the last year,
    Speak only 5 languages but the number 5 I am just starting,
    … I think I dont feet yet…

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  5. 22. You're homeless, but you're not pushing a shopping cart through city streets.

    Answer #1 is something I always struggle with. Even today, when I arrive in Southern California (“home” as per my driving license address) I struggle to answer that question. My friends' replies are either: “He's from Thailand.” or “He's from everywhere.” These days, I often just say, “I'm a hobo.”

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    • Or maybe, “you're pushing a shopping cart through a store where you can't
      read a label on anything”


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  6. Im from all over South Africa but I lived in the UK for 9yrs and Australia for 2yrs so far. Im currently travelling in Thailand 😀

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  7. Im from all over South Africa but I lived in the UK for 9yrs and Australia for 2yrs so far. Im currently travelling in Thailand 😀

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  8. Haha, I so agree with all of these!! 🙂 I especially like the one about how your life story involves saying “and then we moved…” about 5 times. So true. 😛

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  9. 23) Forgetting what race you are at times.

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  10. This is definitely about my kids! 9 year old carries 3 passports and  struggles with Question #1. 2 year old has lived in 2 countries, has just recently moved to the third one and has been to 11 countries already (on 3 continents!). 

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  11. …when you get calls and text messages in the middle of the night or some atrocious hour of the early morning and instead of panicking and thinking the worse, you’re just annoyed because you know someone, somewhere has forgotten that on this side of the world, people are ASLEEP. *laughs*

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