This is the third part to a series about Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and friendships. In the first two parts, TCK: Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. I and TCK: Saying Goodbye to Friends Pt. II the focus was on the effects a nomadic life has on friendships. While some friendships can remain intact, many and most slowly slip away with each move to a new location. When facing the cycle of continual loss, how can you recover and maintain your social circles?
“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” – Wikipedia on the Definition of a TCK
My tips for keeping in touch with your friends:
1. Use the Phone. Whether your friend is in the same or different country you can more than likely keep in contact every month with the phone. There is nothing like hearing the voice of your friend and even a quick five minute call can do wonders for a long distance friendship. If you are unable to phone your friend, due to long distance charges, there are many smart phone aps that you can use to converse with your friend. Send free messages and calls with Viber, send free messages with Whatsapp, and send free messages and video chat with Skype and Google Hangout. The point is to keep that open channel of communication.
- 2. Write letters. By this I mean get actual paper and write a letter to your friend that you can send through the mail. Email is great because you can quickly send something off and it will be received instantly. While that is perfect for social networking and business it can really lack the personal touch that can help a friendship flourish. If you ever had a penpal when you were younger you can remember how great it was to recieve a letter in the mail and find out what your friend has been up too. Just remember to send the letter after you write it. It can be too easy to put off taking it ot the post office and letting the contents of the letter become old and irrelevent. Sometimes when you have not written a letter in a while it can be hard to get it started. Just think about what you would like to know about the friend you are sending it too and share that bit of information from your life. Let your friend know what you have been up too. Pretend like you are talking to them when you write your letter and do not worry about being boring. Just put your personality and how you normally talk in conversation into the letter and talk from the heart.
**For more information on Third Culture Kids, TCKs, and ATCKS
***Photographs and wording belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights reserved | www.bonnie-rose.co.uk