Whether we like it or not, growing up overseas has left many of us adult TCKs with some quirks. I spent my teenage and college years trying to hide these quirks, but I have since accepted that they are here to stay and that I kind of like them. In talking with other adult TCKs, I have had many, “Really!? You do that too!?” moments, and so have they. Here are 5 quirks that seem to be widespread in the TCK world.
1. We rearrange the furniture. TCKs have a need for change and one way that many of us have found to combat that need in a healthy way is rearranging furniture, repainting rooms, redecorating, etc. Basically, finding any way to change up our environment as an alternative to moving across the world…again.
2. We add words from other languages in our daily conversations. Sometimes there just isn’t the perfect word to describe what you’re trying to say in your native language, but there is in one of the other languages that you speak! We pull words from our language bank to more fully describe what we’re talking about, and often don’t even realize that we’re doing it because they have become a normal part of our daily vocabulary. My two-year old used a Swahili word to describe something the other day and I realized how neat it is that this “quirk” is being passed down to the next generation!
3. We change our accent depending on who we’re talking to. Our accent may change depending on who we’re talking to, where we are, whether we’re trying to fit in or stand out. We know how to annunciate so that people from other countries can understand us, and we are fantastic at adopting an accent to go undercover just about anywhere. Some of us have accents that are a conglomeration of several different accents, or we have certain words that happen to be accented differently. Our accents are just about as diverse as we are!
4. We love airplane food, especially on international flights. I have eaten some of the very best lamb curry at 51,000 feet. I think Airplane Food might be my favorite cuisine and I have heard similar sentiments from other TCKs.
5. We treat our passport like a photo album. There are a million stories represented by every stamp and sticker on every page. We get excited about showing people our passports, especially the old, completely full ones.
Can you relate to any of these TCK quirks? Or, do you notice them in your TCKs? Have any others to add to the list? Post them in the comments below!