Being a Third Culture Kid, or TCK can be hard. A TCK is someone who has been raised in a culture that is different from the one his or her parents were raised in – such as an English person being raised in Hong Kong. Usually, we've grown up all over the world. Bouncing around from city to city as children, we learned that home is not a place, but a feeling, and you carry that feeling wherever you go. There are a whole lot of benefits of being a TCK – by definition, we're culturally aware. We are able to relate to a broader set of subcultures. We're constantly questioning our beliefs and trying to understand the world better. And most importantly, we have a place to stay whenever we go travelling, slashing our accommodation costs.
We develop fast, fleeting relationships. We're easy to become close to, quick to trust and hard to leave. But we do it all the time, we wave goodbye to all these people we've become attached to and set about creating a new home in some foreign land.
In today's world, however, goodbye is never for forever. The cost of travel becomes more affordable with budget airlines everywhere, and as a TCK, we have a safe, secure and trusted home in loads of cities all over the world. Which means we don't pay for accommodation most of the time.
We don't need to rely on the accommodation of strangers when we travel. TCKs take their laptops and iPads with them without fear of having it stolen because their old friend's place is right there. And when they go somewhere, they see it like a local does – because their friends tell them all the cool places to go.
This really cool website facilitates and encourages this kind of travel – it's called Friends of Friends Travel.
But it doesn't only allow TCKs to interact with each other and their friends, but it opens up their global network of travel buddies to all their other friends too.
The idea is that you sign up and offer a service – a place to stay, a place to leave your stuff, a simple coffee or just tips and information about your city. You then start adding friends. Once your friends accept your request, you will see them appear as a pin on your "Opportunities Map" in the city where they're based. As they add friends, you'll get to see where their friends are located as well.
Limiting it to friends and friends of friends creates an atmosphere of trust. So long as you only add people you trust, your network remains safe and secure – because these are the people you trust, and the people they trust, and that's it. No further than 2 degrees of separation.
In this way, someone who's grown up in a small town in the middle of New Zealand only needs to become friends with ONE Third Culture Kid in order to suddenly have access to people all over the world!
They're working on a freemium membership model as well – meaning you can sign up for free and then can upgrade to a "Premium Club" membership. Included with this membership are a bunch of exclusive deals with partners like STA Travel, World Nomad, Rough Guides, Busabout, Escape Campervans…and a quite a few more too! They have you covered with flights, insurance, guidebooks, transport, tours – even visas, vaccinations and travel gear!
Friends of Friends Travel basically makes travelling for TCKs easier, and travelling for everyone else as easy, cheap and safe as it is for TCKs. They're opening up their world to you so go out there, sign up, and carpe that diem!