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A ‘Third Culture Kid’ is a child who grew up under the influence of more than one culture.

If I were to think of myself as a Third Culture Kid, one small memory from my early childhood would come to mind straight away; my German maternal grandmother playing Carnival music in her front room and encouraging me to dance and to jump ‘higher! higher!’, resulting in me stopping altogether, since a different word which is pronounced exactly the same means ‘no’ in Turkish, the nationality of my dad.

I’m not a Third Culture Kid in the sense that I’ve lived in many countries or enrolled in different schools across the world throughout my childhood. But I am when it comes to birthdays where I have to take into account time differences, or when I had frickadellen (German hamburgers) at least twice a week for dinner. Whilst I was born in Scotland, have lived here my whole life and would consider myself ‘Scottish’, only my immediate family have ever lived here with me; every one else is abroad. I see my Turkish family every summer when I go there on holiday, and I could count on one hand the number of occasions where I’ve properly spent time with my German relatives.  I’m sure if you can relate to my situation you’ll agree;  Skype, WhatsApp and google translate are godsends!

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Since the word for cake in Turkish is ‘pasta’, mealtimes were quite confusing for 4-year old me

I think this early exposure to three different cultures – Scottish, Turkish and German (and yes they are very different in my experience!) – has contributed to my current interest in tradition, language and religion around the world. In the last few years I’ve become obsessed with travelling and trying to expose myself to as much ‘newness’ as I can. Right now I’m in my second year at the University of Edinburgh, so travelling is more of a dream than a reality as I focus on my studies. I imagine this blog will be a place where I’ll write about what I’ve done, am doing and plan to do in the near future with regards to travel mainly (since I have a lot of exciting trips coming up!), but I want to share my uni experience too, since I wish I’d read blogs about that before I became a student, and I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs to say the least. And, since starting uni, I’ve met some interesting people and made some incredible friends, some also with third culture backgrounds, and I’d like you to meet them…

I’ve been putting off starting this blog for a while because a.) I had no idea how to make it stand out from all the other blogs out there and b.) I didn’t think I had anything new to bring to this whole blogging craze. But I’ve decided that I’m just going to write about what I’m passionate about, simply because I’m passionate about it, and if that interests/helps/inspires someone else then that’s just a major bonus.

Hopefully I stick at this (there’s a strong chance I won’t), but let’s see how it goes…

Thanks for reading!

Mel

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