Monday 15 August 2011

Global nomads on the move

Recently 3 guys traveled to 11 countries in 44 days on 18 flights covering over 38 thousand miles (about 62 000 kilometers) to create 3 short films, ‘Move’, ‘Eat’, ‘Learn’. Thanks Rick Mereki, Tim White, and Andrew Lees for the great short films you made. I will write a post on each word because the words describe the lives of third culture kids (TCKs) or global nomads very well. So today it's all about moving.

I looked up the definition of the word "move" in the free online dictionary. Here follow a few of the definitions: "To go from one residence or location to another; relocate. To cause to go from one place to another. To start off; depart."

move in on
1. To make intrusive advances toward; intrude on.
2. To attempt to seize control of: moving in on their territory.
on the move
1. Busily moving about; active: 
2. Going from one place to another: 
3. Making progress; advancing: 

study in Denmark found that children who had moved house more than three times were more likely to have been suicidal. "Children may feel ignored and have no one to communicate with. A suicide attempt may, to some extent, express the need for more attention from their parents." So parents please keep talking with your kids before, during and after moving. Many third culture kids (TCKs) or global nomads have moved more than three times. Actually I just discovered that I fall into this at risk category.  Before my 20th birthday I had lived in four different countries: Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands. Two different continents. In Malawi we lived in Blantyre and Lilongwe. In Zimbabwe I lived in Bulawayo, Mutare and then we moved back to Bulawayo again. Normally I don't add the times we moved within a town, that did not really count for me, but it does count! I am kind of losing count now but I think I moved at least 11 times before my 20th birthday. Heidi Sand-Hart, an adult third culture kid (ATCK) wrote a book Home Keeps Moving. Guess what? It's all about moving.

The American Academy of Child and adolescent Psychiatry writes that children who move frequently are more likely to have problems at school. In the article there are also 7 tips for parents to make the move easier for kids. One that is very important for kids moving around the globe (TCKs) is:

Help children keep in touch with friends from the previous neighborhood/country through telephone, skype, letters, e-mail, and personal visits. 

Julia Simens has written about The top 10 ways to cope with any transition. She is the author of the book Emotional Resilience and the expat child. You can read a book review by Wordgeyser here.

Words I associate with moving are:
  • change
  • chaos
  • stress
  • uncertainty
  • adapting again
  • losing friends
Of course there are positive things about moving but today I want to focus a little on the negative side. After writing all this I must admit that I still enjoyed this film. I hope you do too.


    Third culture kids (TCKs) or ATCKs what are your experiences with moving? What are your thoughts on this topic? Parents of global nomads do you have advice for other families? What are the lessons you have learned? I want you to know that I appreciate your comments.

    Want to read more? Read my post Global Nomads on the move part 2

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