As a kid I loved the idea of traveling but I never thought or dreamed of living overseas. Thirty years later, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I absolutely love that for the last 8 years, we’ve raised our kids and immersed ourselves in another culture and language.
Prior to leaving the U.S. I had never put much thought into the term “Third Culture Kid” coined by sociologist Ruth Hill Useem. During my college years I was surrounded by lots of missionary kids some were classmates and I even had them as roommates. I do remember some of them standing out more then others like the boy who walked around school without shoes and his favorite hangout place was up in a tree. Even then some things stood out to me about these TCK’s, their maturity was always beyond their age. I loved the diversity in my TCK roommates music, food and interest. I owe my love for African music, to my first college roommate, who grew up in what she called the “bush”.
Who knew that I would be raising my very own third culture kids. In the video below, Beth and I share some of the advantages to raising our kids abroad.
Raising kids in another country has definitely been an adventure! Picking up new traditions from our adopted home here in South America has been a highlight of ours. We’ve joined the crowd of neighbors on New Years Even to burn the old man and we’ve even jumped over the fire.
My boys joyously join the mass of kids at the park, armed with their can of Espuma (foam) for the Carnival holiday.
We’ve camped out at the local national park with the llamas and hiked the volcanoes around us.
We’ve even started making our own colada morada and Guagas de Pan for Day of the Dead.
Our boys school resembles a UN meeting with teachers and classmates who come from all over the world. I watch in amazement as my kids comfortably play with their classmates of all backgrounds and cultures. My Mexican American son is currently learning Mandarin in South America! I love it!
I love that we are raising some well-adjusted kids who think their nomadic life is normal! I always tell my kids, “You are doing things kids back home only watch on TV.” What kid can say he’s hiked a volcano, played with wild monkeys, swam with sea lions and ate lunch next to a slaughter of iguanas.
Though our overseas life is full of adventure with it comes challenges but that’s for another video, so stay tune. Despite some of the difficulties the rewards and benefits far outweigh the challenges.
In this video we share 4 advantages (not ones mentioned above) of raising kids abroad! Next week, we’ll share the challenges that come with raising kids overseas.
Share below in the comments section some of the advantages you’ve noticed. I’d love to hear what it’s like in your neck of the world.
Also, if you have any suggestions on topics we can share for our next Expat Sisterhood Chats please let us know.