Culturally Unique : I had a wise professor say, “You have to leave your culture to understand it.” I thought that meant I had to go to the other side of the world or to a remote village or to a country drastically different than my own to understand my culture. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that. (It certainly C A N mean that and it D O E S mean that for individuals who go abroad for the first time and return home to feel everything is different). But what it means to people who don’t go abroad is, for example, the intentional act of getting out of a comfort zone, or walking across the street to meet neighbors, or initiating a conversation with someone in another department at work. In doing these things, a new perspective is cultivated. A new understanding of ways of doing and being is discovered. I advocate that a starting point to understanding yourself and others is to leave your culture. You are a multicultural being operating in a multicultural community, in a multicultural country, in a multicultural world. Every single person is culturally unique. And it takes Y O U observing and interacting with the cultures around you- from your yoga class to your adjunct department to your cafe barista to appreciate the diversity in culture and to realize that you don’t have to go very far to have a heightened awareness of the cultures you move in and out and between. Let’s move together to understand the C U L T U R E S we live in so we can understand ourselves better.
Published by adultthirdculturekid
Megan Norton has lived in ten countries, five U.S. States, and has visited more than 30 countries. She identifies as an Adult Third Culture Kid and Global Nomad. Megan currently works as an intercultural dialogue facilitator and English language instructor. Megan has presented her TCK research at multiple conferences including FIGT (2016, 2017), SIETAR-USA, NAFSA, IMI, and CIES. She holds a MA in Intercultural and International Communication, a MA in Strategic and Business Communication, and BA in Public Relations. Megan is passionate about ATCK transitions, especially at the university level as she has attended both U.S. and International universities. View all posts by adultthirdculturekid