Year: 2009

TCK adventures: racing across Europe and Africa (part 2)

This is a series focused on TCKs who contribute to charities while also exploring the world. The first installment explored why TCKs choose these journeys. The second installment will follow a group of TCKs as they embark on their adventure. The Search for Eternal Glory: Adventurists Africa Rally ’09 The goal: Travel from London to Cameroon via car to raise money for Cameroon farmers to receive sustainable farming training and resources such as livestock, seeks and trees. Denizen is an official sponsor of Team UhNoooo, a charity rally team venturing on a rather out-of-the-box excursion. On December 13th, Rezhan Majid, Ryan Nishimoto anda beat-up Peugeot 106 and its 1L engine, will start an arduous 5-week, 10,000 mile journey from London’s Hyde Park to Kribi, Cameroon. What do they want to accomplish? “Eternal glory. The ultimate road trip,” Rezhan said. “Who doesn’t want to get in a car with a good friend and drive a loosely charted course through Europe and Africa? … I hope at the end of it I get some invaluable life lessons …

TCK adventures: changing the world and yourself (part 1)

For many of us, completing university means one thing: figuring out the next step. Whether it’s teaching English in Asia, backpacking across Europe or working for a charity group in Africa, many TCKs hunger to explore as much of the world as humanly possible. What drives us to travel like this? What are we looking for? What are the adverse effects of traveling? And perhaps most importantly, will we ever find whatever it is that we are looking for? We often seek adventure because, from the get-go, our lives are a journey into the unknown. All of us are raised in what some would call ‘unconventional’ circumstances: what is strange and foreign to some is perfectly normal to others. This very concept lies at the core of the mindset of most TCKs. In my opinion, we spend our first twenty-something odd years fighting to find our identity, only to find that the “box” doesn’t actually exist. We learn that the more we experience, the more we are able to adapt to our surroundings and appreciate …

What TCKs can learn from ‘Mean Girls’

Mean Girls won’t win any Oscars, but peel away the glossy angst, and it is sociologically brilliant. The movie follows Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan) as she starts her first day at an American high school. We quickly learn that Cady, a child of research zoologists, spent 12 years growing up in Africa. “P.S., Cady is a TCK” should have gone into the credits. “I had a great life [in Africa]” Cady narrates. “And then… my mom was offered tenure at Northwestern University. And it was goodbye Africa, hello high school.” Sound familiar? The sudden move from one culture to another provides a slew of Third Culture Kid moments, visible from just the first 10 minutes of the movie. On her first day of school in Illinois, Cady’s American parents are thoroughly unaware of how difficult the cultural transition could be for her. Walking up to the African-American students, Cady says “Jambo” in Swahili. She also deals with comments like, “So, if you’re from Africa – why are you white?” (“Oh my god Karen,” …