A very British Christmas with my sisters in Norfolk. Image by Leanna Johnson.
Global girls: We tend to be easy to spot, with our multi-faceted careers, beat-up passports, and eclectic tastes.
Growing up, I met many multi-culturals from every walk of life, and while each had a unique story, we shared a lot of the same quirks.
Are you a global girl? Here’s a short checklist to help you find out!
Visiting family is a round-the-world-trip…and that’s just one way!
Yes, this may seem obvious, but there’s more to it than a plane ticket with jetlag.
It could mean visiting “the motherland,” a missionary outpost, or your birth country, but you often remember it as that awkward place where you look like everyone, but can’t speak the lingo.
For many of us, visiting family comes with an identity crisis, a reminder that we don’t quite fit into one space or the other. But it’s also an opportunity to explore our roots and celebrate our differences…and our similarities!
You can switch accents like a chameleon on crack!
Is your pronunciation all over the map? Can you do killer impressions? Do you automatically pick up on speech patterns around you, to everyone’s confusion?
Whether it’s an ear for languages and dialects or simply a map of your journey so far, accent-switching is a tell-tale sign that you are comfortable around many different cultures.
…And then there’s that awkward moment when you get off the phone with your Indian friend, and everyone is staring at you. Yes, you said “Amrika” instead of “America” and sound like you grew up in Delhi.
And yes, you probably looked like a human bobble-head.
You’re a global girl! Own it, love it.
You have a thing for foods that make other people gag!
You are what you eat. No, really! You can always tell a global girl by her favorite varieties of world cuisine.
From Marmite and egg-on-beans to jalebis and raw sushi, the multicultural palate is an adventurous one. We love weird combos (like avocado and garlic on toast!) and complicated dishes no one’s ever heard of.
“My favorite food? I love…*unpronounceable name*…from that time I… *long, involved story*…!” — said every global girl ever!
Word of advice? Never ask what part of the animal it comes from.
Planes, trains, and buses feel like home.
There’s no home like public transportation!
Global girls often feel most at home while on the move. We are queens of the airport security check and pros at finding cheap tickets on foreign-language sites. We can confidently navigate subways, trams, taxis, and rickshaws with an air of “been there, done that” and have even learned the secret to sleeping on planes.
We may (often) get lost, but layovers and overnight buses are just another opportunity to kick back and relax, a breather before the next adventure begins.
Switching between time zones and currencies is second nature.
Every global girl worth her salt knows what USD stands for and how it translates to GBP, EUR, INR, KRW, and the rest of the currency alphabet!
We know the best times to call home, the cheapest mobile plans, and can easily calculate how many hours Seoul is from Chicago. And if someone needs to know the cost of a loaf of bread in Botswana, we’ve got their back!
…though we still haven’t found a cure for jetlag.
Holidays are a topsy-turvy cultural melting pot!
British Christmas in Africa. American Thanksgiving in Britain. “Auld Lang Syne” and sweet tater pie. Fireworks on July Fourth and Guy Fawkes.
Mixing cultures on the holidays means more than adding curry to your grits!
If you’ve grown up between cultures, chances are you celebrate a wealth of different holidays with a variety of traditions. Maybe one side of your family keeps Lent, Ramadan, or recognizes different independence days. Maybe you remember being away from school more than the other kids for religious ceremonies, family traditions, or celebrations.
Whatever the case, celebrate it. You have the unique opportunity to experience life in a way that most other people would have to travel forever to find!
Life may seem like a crazy culture clash at times, but it’s YOUR journey, global girl!
So tell me, what does your multicultural life look like? Do you have a funny story about a mashed-up holiday, crippling jet leg, or an accent gone wrong?