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A Bird Must Settle on a Branch, If It Wants To Build A Nest. – Advice to All Third Culture Kids

A common problem for most Adult Third Culture Kids is the feeling of having itchy feet. Every however many years or so, the Adult Third Culture Kid wants to up and leave. And so they pack all of their belongings into a bag, leave their perfectly good jobs and friends behind, to move to somewhere they have never even been. Why do they do this? – to sustain their identity as the foreigner and to keep what identifies them (the concept of the Third Culture Kid) alive.

The truth is, as a Third Culture Kid, the itchy feet syndrome works against you. It keeps you from building any meaningful long-term relationships and makes it hard for you to achieve your career aspirations, not to speak of the difficulty of having a family if you feel the need to go country hopping throughout your twenties and thirties. Some may not want these things and that’s perfectly fine, but the two integral ingredients of life fulfillment are satisfying relationships and purpose. Satisfying relationships tend to come in the form of lifelong friendships and families and purpose tends to come in the form of meaningful work or side-businesses.

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Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.

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When considering your life choices, I want you to imagine a bird flying in the sky. This bird is travelling from one place to another and perhaps it is doing so with a purpose. It may be looking for a mate. We know that the main purpose for all creatures is to create offspring. But in order to achieve this purpose the bird has to settle on a branch, perch there in wait for their mate to arrive and then build a nest together. A mate cannot be found in mid-flight. A nest cannot be built in mid-flight. It is once we have all arrived that we are able to achieve our purpose.

That brings us to an important question – how to choose your branch. In other words, what should a Third Culture Kid consider when choosing where to settle down? Is it the culture of the place? Or is it the kind of people who are there? Unfortunately, both of these are wrong and will only lead you down an unsettled path. The answer is, your purpose. Find out what your purpose is and let it guide you in life. If you want to become a concert violinist, go to where the best violinists are and stay there. If you want to be a financial adviser, go to where the best financial advisers are and stay there. If you want to be a chef, go to where the best chefs are and stay there. The second ingredient – satisfying relationships – will blossom from the seed that is your new self. Following your purpose will put you in the place where you will find the people you are meant to be with.

Philip Andersson

Life Coach

Cross Culture Therapy


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Philip Andersson – Life Coach

Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

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