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A Land Down Under and A Life in Tahiti: Part 1 of 3

Sydney Opera House (Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay)

Rachel Ehredt and Kainoa Smith have had completely different experiences in life. One grew up to be a Third Culture Adult (TCA) and the other grew up as a Third Culture Kid (TCA). In this three-part series, we take a look at both of their experiences.

Rachel Ehredt is a woman who had the opportunity to live in Australia for a year — well, technically.

Ehredt worked for a software company that built government websites based out of Australia. During her time as a U.S., Australia and New Zealand marketer, she was required to spend half of her time in Australia and half of her time in the United States. She had to stay in Australia for three months (90 days) at a time without a work visa, then she would travel back to the United States.  

Living in Australia is like living at home but in an alternate universe.  

Rachel Ehredt

The company Ehredt worked for was based out of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Her company had an apartment rented for her in St. Kilda, south of the Central Business District (CBD). 

(Image via Rachel Ehredt)

Ehredt grew up in Denver, Colo., U.S.A. Although she had traveled around the U.S. quite a bit before she was 18, she had never left Colorado. Ehredt is considered a Third Culture Adult (TCA). A TCA is someone who has traveled “extensively and are immersed in global locations after the age of 18,” according to Psychotherapist Paulette Bethel who coined the term in 2002. 

What she learned and saw in Australia

She saw Australian Drag Shows, visited the Sydney Opera House and experienced the excitement of Australian football in the bars. Not to mention the high tea she got to have at the National Gallery of Victoria. 

(Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay

She fell in love with Xiao Long Bao, Meat Pies and Gozeleme.

Image via Rachel Ehredt

“It’s a melting pot of Asian, Indian, and English cultures,” she says.

Ehredt rode “the train” every day to and from work, the market and almost everywhere she wanted to go, unless she decided to walk. She said it was like living in New York, where you either rode the train or you walked; you didn’t want to drive. 

Ehredt said that to her surprise, Starbucks Coffee in Australia is not something locals rave about — it’s only there for the tourists. Locals would never be caught dead in a Starbucks.

Differences between Australian and American life

Ehredt learned about certain traditions in Australia. For example, before a show, the Aboriginal Australians, who are the indigenous people of the continent, would be thanked and acknowledged that Australians were on their land.

“I thought it was beautiful and a respectful way to acknowledge that a group of settlers came and took land away from native people — something we don’t do in America. “

Rachel Ehredt

Ehredt would learn that “trash” is also called “rubbish.” Unexpectedly, locals would add BBQ sauce to their eggs in the morning. Also, if you want a red pepper you better ask for a capsicum, and whatever you do, order a flat white rather than a latte.

This Third Culture Adult learned so much with her time living in Melbourne, Australia. She learned about differences in cultures as well as new things that she loves. Rachel Ehredt looks forward to more years traveling and immersing herself in new countries.

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