TCK + TCK = TLF (True Love Forever)

Forgive my somewhat (or very) cheesy title, but perhaps by the end you’ll understand, and might be willing to overlook the corny math and acronym riddled title.

My fiancé and I met in the love capital of the world: endlessly beautiful and breathtaking Paris. Two TCK teenagers in high school: they meet, fall in love and voila! Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that simplistic, but it’s not far off! That was in 2003; now it’s 2011 and we’re getting married in France. France is where it all began and France is where it will come full circle. And we are definitely a pair of TCKs through and through. Our wedding is just one example of many; we’re getting married in France, even though neither one of us is from there! But the truth is, France gave us true love and the time we spent there has put it forever in our hearts. France will always be part of our lives.

But it’s not our wedding that makes us TCKs, even if it shows yet again how growing up as a TCK is something that stays with you forever. The fact that my fiancé is also a TCK makes our bond all that much stronger. He understands all the little things that makes us TCKs stand out and always feel a little different.

A true TCK takes a part of each country with them – whether that be the language, the food, cultural customs…Apart from the physical memories and trinkets – pictures, local Christmas decorations, furniture, jewelry…it’s the parts that aren’t tangible that will stay with you the longest. Each country I’ve lived in has left me with certain visual, audio, and olfactive memories that can be triggered at the slightest sight, sound, or smell. Your journey builds who you are, and each stop adds its layer.

My fiancé gets all that. We share our memories and experiences from all these countries. It’s like a code that only TCKs have access to. When I say something like “oh, that song came out when I was in the Philippines, so it must have been around ‘x’-year”, he doesn’t find that strange. His most likely response: “oh yeah, it’s when I was in Argentina”. We might sound crazy to outsiders, but if TCKs heard us, they would probably start thinking back to which country they were in at the time.

The fact that my fiancé knows what it is to be a TCK means he can understand me to the very core of who I am. Being a TCK isn’t just a way of life, it also shapes who you are.

Sharing and making my life with him, with another TCK, allows us to tackle similar difficulties together. Adapting to being back in the States has definitely been one of them. Trying to fit in, feel like we belong…That’s never an easy feat. But the fact that we both know how it feels to be someplace new and to know you’re not like the other people around you, only brings us closer and makes us stronger. We also know that this is only the first stop in our journey together. One thing we learned as TCKs is you never know where you might end up next, or what will happen when you’re there. We didn’t expect France and we definitely didn’t expect each other. And we fell in love with both.

Next stop? Who knows, but the sky’s the limit…And no one would know that better than my fiancé.


8 thoughts on “TCK + TCK = TLF (True Love Forever)

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Yes, Third Culture Kid (TCK) is an actual term – it was coined in the 1950s by the sociologist/anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem (if you were interested in learning more!). It’s an experience/way of life that sets us apart and that’s quite unique, so finding someone who understands it fully is amazing. It makes such a difference for all the little and big things because he knows how it feels. And yes, we were very lucky to meet in the beautiful city of Paris! 🙂

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope to hear from you again!


  1. Greetings! I just stumbled upon this blog and am really enjoying reading about the adventures of another TCK. Then I looked back through some posts to see where you had been stationed and saw that you were in Paris during your high school years. Did you go to the American School of Paris? I was there from 2002-2005! Keep writing – I’ll keep reading.


    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment – it’s always great to hear from other TCKs! And yes, I went to ASP from 2000-2003 when I graduated. That’s something I love about TCKs, these amazing connections that show us just how small the world can be 🙂 Thanks so much for your motivating comment and I promise to keep writing 🙂


        1. It really is a small world, and I remember you both actually! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting; it’s always fun to find connections with other TCKs 🙂


  2. Sometimes I say that my wife and I are both psychological Amer-Asians who started life on opposite sides of the Pacific


    1. That’s cute 🙂 I’d love to hear more about the story behind that comment! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it!


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