Third Culture Kid Dating; adults who have spent their developmental years outside their parent's culture

As a TCK, I feel incredibly comfortable in an airport. Maybe even too comfortable…


I walked through the crowded Heathrow airport: artificial fluorescent lighting, air-conditioning, jet-lagged passengers, and constant airport announcements. I could not have felt more at home.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I was flying out of Heathrow Airport to Hamburg to see my parents for the weekend.  They still live in Germany (proper TCK parents! They are French and Belgian).  They have been there for almost 10 years now. That is the longest they’ve been somewhere as expats!

As I slowly moved towards my gate in Heathrow, stopping at PRET for a white Americano, I realized how relaxed I was.  Suddenly the stress I had accumulated over the last couple of weeks about revising for exams, working on my company, and working at the Pilates studio part-time started melting away.  I knew that in a couple of minutes, I’d be boarding a plane, and I would be leaving behind any issues I had. It felt so freeing. And it was also this strange nostalgia I had for airports.  It just gave me a lovely warm feeling inside.  Am I crazy? Or does the feeling of being in an airport just remind you of childhood, flights back to see family over Christmas from different places around the world, flights taken towards a brand new destination?

It’s funny how much I enjoyed the movie ‘Up in the Air’. The way the character played by George Clooney knew how to go through the security check-in in a matter of seconds. He had nailed it after having done it so many times. He knew exactly what the airport security officers would be looking for.  Or how he just had a sense of calm when going through those busy airports. And when he got home, he almost looked uncomfortable.  I definitely felt that when I moved to Boston. I didn’t feel quite at home yet in my apartment there and almost felt more at ease in the Boston Logan airport.  What is it about airports?  Do you feel the same way?

5 thoughts on “As a TCK, I feel incredibly comfortable in an airport. Maybe even too comfortable…

  1. I will admit..I do love an airport…and generally, an international serving one. Regional ones always feel too small to me! (…and I’ve been through way more than I count.)

    Funny you mention, Up in the Air. I just did a presentation using that movie for a presentation in a counseling class. 🙂

    • Haha that’s exactly how I feel! If I go into a regional airport, I think where are the big stores? The range of different coffee shops? Um, no proper bar with nice cocktails? 🙂

      • That’s what happens when you’re used to going to the majors one first! For the longest time, I was trying to figure out why the planes were so small and wondering where the big ones were.

  2. Funniest thing ever, I wrote a post on this a while many similarities..
    Great post!

    • Oh my gosh! Such a similar post. I swear, there’s something about airports! A bit peculiar that we find them so reassuring. But I’m glad that no matter where we are in the world; (as you mentioned in your post) we are always a flight away from home.

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