Our TCK Family

“The shock from being back from all the internationality is astounding.”

That was my TCK husband’s comment upon our return to CT after the Families in Global Transition Conference. If he says that without even attending the conference but only taking part in the many conversations happening in the evening, it gives you an idea of the impact of FIGT.

Norman Viss, treasurer of the organization, called us one big TCK family. His statement resonated with all of us. It may seem odd to call a roomful of strangers family, but we understand it and we do feel like family. You can see it and hear it in the interactions: we dive right into conversations, no need for small talk; hugs are given to old friends and new friends and people who are just meeting for the first time.

We are family because we understand without having to explain. For all our differences, there is a common thread holding us together. We all know what it means to live between worlds, whether we’ve done it as kids, adults or both.

We had keynote speakers who inspired us, moved us and reminded us of the importance of this global family. We heard stories from speakers from around the world, from different backgrounds and experiences. We learned, we laughed and we cried. We left the conference feeling inspired, motivated, encouraged and loved.

That is why we flock to FIGT and that is why we need to tell others about the conference. Having this family means never being alone and always having someone who understands. It means having roots in a community, no matter where we are geographically.

As Elizabeth Liang reminded us all at the end of her powerful and poignant performance: we are the luckiest people on earth.

We are lucky indeed.

Lucky to have lived such a privileged life and lucky to have gained such experiences. We are lucky to belong to such a wonderful community and to have our TCK ‘siblings’ around the world.

They are our family and our tribe.

And I’m proud to be a part of them.

Just a few of the wonderful TCK and expat 'siblings' from around the world.
Just a few of the wonderful TCK and expat ‘siblings’ from around the world. Thank you to Jo and the fabulous writing team!
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18 thoughts on “Our TCK Family

    1. Thanks for commenting, as always! You would have enjoyed the conference I attended very much – many people at ASP would have appreciated it, I believe. I’ll be writing much more about it, so I hope that will be interesting for you too!

      But it is lovely to know that there are many like us all over the world… It’s good to know we’re not alone in our experiences 🙂

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    1. You’re right – the village really does exist, and it was so great to feel that at FIGT 🙂

      Looking forward to spreading the news and love with you!

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn! I hope I can be there next year too – it was amazing and it would be wonderful to meet you there!

      I remember you mentioning Joyce and so I looked for her, staring at all the name tags to see if I could find her, but I never came across her. I’m sorry I missed her though – it would have been great to meet her!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Julia! I really appreciate it and you’re absolutely right – Norman did seem like the older, wiser brother! It was such a wonderful experience and I’m very excited to be writing about it and sharing it with those who couldn’t be there.

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  1. I am so very pleased to be part of this newly formed tribe. It’s a wonderful thing to have bonds form so quickly and yet so knowingly partly because of our united experiences. The laughter and shared stories also helped!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Terry! It’s true that the shared experiences, the laughter and the stories did so much to help form those bonds. I had always felt so at home in international schools (both as a student and working there) because of this shared understanding. I felt that again at FIGT, and there are no words to describe how wonderful it was to feel ‘at home’ with our TCK/expat tribe.

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  2. You are lucky indeed. Having a shared background of any kind, with anyone, can be such a strong bond, and after all the experiences you had as a child – where you probably felt very alone – I’m sure it’s good to finally feel you’ve found a “home”. You certainly have opened up a whole new world for me, and for that I thank you! : )

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    1. Thank you for this lovely comment, Paige. It is beautiful to find a community that feels like family and like home – we all felt it there. But one of the nicest things for anyone is when someone of a different background/experiences cares to hear about the other’s story. I hope that makes sense. Not everyone is as open or interested in learning about others. Your kindness and interest are very much appreciated – I really hope we get a chance to meet in person one day and exchange stories face to face. I would enjoy that very much 🙂

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      1. I would enjoy this very much too. Life is too short not to learn about what other people think and feel and experience – it only enhances our own. I have learned much from reading your stories and maybe it will help me understand someone else one day, and what their journey has been like. If nothing else, my connection with you has only emphasized how different we all are, and yet how alike we are. Such is life. : )

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  3. Wonderful recap of a conference…you made me feel like I was there. I definitely would *want* to be there! I relate very much to you referring to those there as “family” because I felt the same way with my TCK friends in Qatar. It’s much easier to connect with people who have your background, even if it’s not remotely the same. (Countries, cultures…etc). There’s just that “click” that works, simply because they’re TCK’s too.

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    1. Thanks, Hala! I’m sure you would have loved it! People from all over the world, so many languages spoken – people even knew how to pronounce my name correctly and what it meant! That does not happen often…especially not in Connecticut! And what you said is exactly right – it doesn’t matter if we didn’t live in any of the same countries or come from the same cultures, etc; it’s the shared experience that creates that bond between us TCKs. I promise there will be much more about the conference coming up, and I hope you’ll enjoy that too!

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  4. Thanks, Dounia, for posting this! Having a tribe that you can call family is a connected, safe and significant feeling for all of us who have grown up as TCK’s and now live with TCK’s as ATCK’s. As someone who has attended FIGT 6 times over the years, I am always amazed at how understood, accepted and embraced I feel!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Becky! It’s true that it’s such a special feeling to know that there’s a community where we belong and everyone understands us. FIGT was such a wonderful experience and I hope I’ll be able to attend other years as well. You said it perfectly “I am always amazed at how understood, accepted and embraced I feel!” – that is exactly how I felt!

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