Why The World Doesn’t Let Me Be A Third Culture Kid

It is all my parents’ fault. I knew it all along.

We live in a very globalised world today, something happens somewhere and we know about it; even better, you know someone from there or someone currently there. Our millennial generation is just the solution to this world, I thought. We get to travel, make friends, share stories and optimally promote world peace through dialogue, not debate and war.

My third culture-ism comes from me living in 5 countries, visiting many more and shaping up my personality from all the cultures. However, I don’t think the world is ready yet for an Iraqi citizen to be a third culture kid. Every single time I want to travel, I have to plan 3 months ahead (yeah, some visa applications take that much to make sure I am not a terrorist or something) and it is always an issue for my friends and those who I am travelling with.

The thing is, everyone keeps telling me that I should get a different passport (besides the fact that I have not been offered one, yet) why would I change my identity? I feel like my patriotism belongs to Iraq, but I take other cultures and embrace them because it helps me develop and evolve as a human being. Then again, changing the passport is not going to change me, I will still be the same person travelling to any country.

Another weird issue that you might not be able to understand (unless you hold a passport that needs a visa to literally 196 countries) is the adrenaline you get when you are standing in line trying to apply for the visa and you don’t know what surprise is waiting for you. Sometimes it is “sure sir, come back and collect your visa in 5 days” which never happened but, I am optimistic. Sometimes it is “Actually sir, for your country we have to process it for 5 weeks and can you please bring a criminal record for the past 10 years?” This did happen. Then, in Macau, where they asked me for a “personal interview” which was a police investigation office. So, it is very interesting, to say the least.

The whole point of this article is not to show my frustration, because I am not angry or anything. In fact, I will miss the adrenaline trying to get a visa, which makes me want to go to that country even more than I wanted to, just because it is a “challenge”. But, this is more of an insight that not all millennials have it easy.

Oh mum and dad, thank you so much for making the first steps of moving around the world. I promise, the world will start treating us for our person’s and not the travel papers we hold.

Almustafa Mahmoud Khalid

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