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Quotes for Third Culture Kids

globe third culture kidsI love hearing from others who have a global perspective, who understand the deep griefs and joys of living an international life. For myself and for all expatriates and especially for Third Culture Kids, here is a curated list of beautiful quotes to encourage and inspire.

“When I left this country 18 years ago, I didn’t know how strangely departure would obliterate return: how could I have done? It’s one of time’s lessons, and can only be learned temporally. What is peculiar, even a little bitter, about living for so many years away from the country of my birth, is the slow revelation that I made a large choice a long time ago that did not resemble a large choice at the time…”

On Not Going Home by James Wood

Third Culture Kids are children raised outside their passport nations. These quotes are also for expatriates, for anyone searching and longing for home, for those who have tasted nostalgia for places they can no longer return to. These kids and their families are irrevocably changed by living in a different country. Often returning to the passport nation is as challenging, if not more so, than the initial move. As a parent and an expat, I am always on the lookout for useful and encouraging words about this transient life.

For more words, wisdom, and perspective, enjoy perusing the Painting Pictures series by and about Third Culture Kids.

  • Third Culture Kids 1 of 14
    quotes for tcks
  • Rumi 2 of 14
    rumi

    The Sufi poet Rumi was a 13th Century poet in Persia and often wrote of a longing for the divine, for eternal things, and for peace and understanding between people.

  • Annie Dillard 3 of 14
    annie-dillard

    In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard captures the beauty and violence of the natural world, and our place in it.

  • Maggie Jones 4 of 14
    home-maggie

    My daughter became a Third Culture Kid when she was just two years old. When I asked her once about belonging and home, this is what she said. We were, fittingly, in an airport at the time.

  • Marina Sofia 5 of 14
    0001-8

    This line is from a moving poem by Marina Sofia, more of her words can be found at Drie Culturen.

  • Harry Potter 6 of 14
    0001-6

    Even Harry Potter knows the feeling of being between worlds.

  • The Far Pavilions 7 of 14
    0001-13

    The novel The Far Pavilions is an epic that captures this tearing, double feeling of being a insider and an outsider at the same time.

  • Nelson Mandela 8 of 14
    nelson-mandela

    Though technically not a Third Culture Kid, Nelson Mandela has wisdom for all.

  • Saudade 9 of 14
    0001-16

    Read more about 'saudade,' this amazing word that captures the hearts of every expatriate and Third Culture Kid who hears it at Communicating Across Boundaries.

  • Annie Dillard, An American Childhood 10 of 14
    Annie Dillard, An American Childhood

    Two quotes from Annie Dillard because she is, well, brilliant. Here, she captures the grief and all the goodbyes. This is from An American Childhood.

  • Sara Groves 11 of 14
    sara-groves

    Sara Groves is a singer and I think I have listened to this song a thousand times, alone and with my kids. I have maybe made it all the way through without crying once. Maybe twice.

  • C.S. Lewis 12 of 14
    cslewis

    For more C.S. Lewis wisdom and words about home and longing, I recommend The Last Battle, the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

  • Eula Biss 13 of 14
    Eula-Biss

    Eula Biss's words speak volumes to the feeling of home, searching for it, finding it, losing it.

  • Lowis Lowry 14 of 14
    lowis-lowry

    Perhaps this is why Third Culture Kids and expatriates embrace the internet and social media. We can share our memories, can even find people who have lived in our special places. Lowis Lowry understands the power of shared memories.

*image via Flickr

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