Storytelling is a vital part of the human experience. Stories give us the power to connect with people we have never met. It gives us the chance to understand the similarities and differences of our experiences within different cultures – it widens our view.
Stories help us to imagine what it might be like to live life as a Third Culture Kid (TCK), for instance.
Below is an inferential tale of Angela Flores that delineates countless international immigrants’ stories.
The story of my family is very important to me.Angela Flores
Angela Flores grew up in Bolivia. She reflects on the impact that storytelling had on her life:
“Ever since I was little, storytelling has been important,” Flores says. “Like with most kids, my parents read me and my siblings bedtime stories – that’s where it all started.
“They really encouraged us to read early in life. My parents were very concerned about our education – they were both pretty academic,” she continues. “My mother, though, was the one more interested in stories. She gave me a lot of support when I showed interest in reading and writing.”
REMEMBERING HOME AS A TCK
For Flores, her favorite stories come from real life – the ones usually told around the dinner table.
“We can take our eating pretty seriously,” she says. “Meals are kind of a ‘big deal’ and can include a lot of family members. My family loved to tell stories over food. They shared old memories of each other and loved ones that were no longer with us. I learned a lot about my family this way. Now, I share their memories, and one day I can share them with my children.”
Flores says she feels quite fortunate for the family she was born in to. Her parents are both educated and her father is a fairly well-known businessman. That would make her an international business kid — a TCK.
“When I was 13 or so, my father began his goal to move our family to the United States,” according to Flores. “The idea was exciting, but also kind of scary, really. All of my friends and other family were in Bolivia, and I’d being going somewhere completely different.
“My father had worked very hard and wanted the best for his children,” she continues. “He applied for a visa and eventually got his citizenship through work.”
‘HARD TRANSITION’ FOR FLORES
It was a “really hard transition,” according to Flores, but that didn’t stop her eagerness to learn.
“My parents kept telling us stories,” she says. “They told the story of how we got here through all my father’s hard work and my family’s support. They told their parent’s stories and more. I think it was meant to keep us inspired.”
Flores says she loved hearing new stories. Not only that, she even got to tell stories of her own “to whoever would listen – not everyone wanted to, and not everyone completely understands, I think, but still. It helps to tell your story.”
Nowadays, Flores is inspired to continue the story of her family and herself.
“I’m working hard in my education, and I hope to share my story with others,” she says. “Maybe more people would be understanding if we all shared and listened to each other’s stories. Maybe there’s people like me out there that want to hear that they’re not alone.
“I want to tell them my story.”