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Traveled: The Lives Of Third Culture Kids

An illustration of a young boy with short brown hair, a green shirt and gray pants who sits with his arms held around his knees. He’s smiling and looking out of the illustration. Around his head are six symbols - from left to right, the flag of Thailand, an ice cream sundae, the flag of the Philippines, a hamburger, the flag of the U.S., and a passport with plane tickets. The background is made of up rays of yellow, red and purple hues. Text at the top of the illustration reads: Traveled.
Charnel Hunter

As a child of two immigrants, Anita has a tumultuous relationship with the question: "Where are you from?" So, too, do many third culture kids — people who spend a significant number of their developmental years living in places that are not their parents' homelands. She talks with two third culture kids — one 35 and one 12 — and their moms about growing up between cultures and how they’ve built identity and relationships along the way.

Meet the Guests:

  • Rayla Heide, a senior narrative designer at Blizzard Entertainment, talks about establishing cultural identity as a third culture kid and the grief and joy involved in moving around in childhood
  • Madeleine Maceda Heide, an international school leader and modern elder as well as Rayla's mother, shares the advantages of being a third culture kid and the ways she helped their family feel at home wherever they lived
  • Phuong Tran, and international journalist and communications consultant for overseas non-profit organizations, talks about her and her son's recent move from Thailand to North Carolina, and what they gained and lost in making that transition
  • Kaden Tran, a middle school student, talks about why moving to the US didn't meet up with his expectations and how its impacted his friendships

Read the transcript | Review the podcast

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Paige Miranda is a producer for "Embodied". Previously, she served as WUNC’s 2023 AAAS Mass Media Fellow.
Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.