Sitting on the plane, your viewpoint is often much different from your normal vantage point. The giants you faced on the ground now seem little more than grasshoppers. The skyscrapers you admired may very well seem as a cat’s scratching post. Nothing really looks the same.
Becoming a third-culture kid scrambles viewpoints like no other experience I’ve ever had. The world is not only America, Canada and Mexico. In fact, the world is not even about America! No, no. In most places, America is like a bit of honey dripped on their dry bread or rice. Children dying of starvation are more real than most celebrities. Their skeletons have a thin canvas of skin straining to cover them. Their arms and legs have not the muscle needed for the strenuous activities they love. No, the myths cultivated by the American culture don’t hold their own when seen through unAmericanized spectacles.
Not everything is made in China. Not every item of food on any given menu is delectable—or edible for that matter. Not all people understand what you say, even if you are both speaking English. Not all roads are smooth. Not all people pay attention to time’s rules. No matter how different a person is from you, your hearts can still blend into a life-long friendship. And not all things sold for high prices have a high value.
Even if we’re shipwrecked in a sea of faces, each water droplet that makes up the ocean is real. Every pair of eyes we observe has a story behind them. And once we realize that, our points des villas can change—and I’m not talking about altitude.