Where do you come from? Where to next?

Being an international school teacher is an extreme privilege; a series of opportunities that present a unique kind of dilemma, seemingly earlier each year. It becomes more complex with school-age children of our own, and is further complicated by having cross-culture kids, with parents from two countries, growing up in a third.

What do we do next?

Where do we go?

What’s right for our careers? Our kids?

What about the grandparents?

What are the pushes and pulls?

What are the opportunities?

What are the opportunity costs?


This year is particularly interesting, as we think to the years ahead with an insightful TCK seven year-old and a three year-old who came to Japan as a baby. They each have very different senses of their identity: one rooted in Indonesia but loving Japan (and summers in the UK), the other identifying Japan as home, but loving the grandparents in the UK and Indonesia. I wonder how the decisions we make, increasingly with their input, will shape how they answer “where do you come from?”

This TED Talk, by Pico Ayer, spins a nice story of cross-culture, third-culture life. How many places will my grandkids call “home”?






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