From battling bullies to building bridges, my life as a Third Culture Kid
It’s not every day you meet a white, blond, Midwest American kid who speaks English with a Japanese accent.
But this is no ordinary kid. At the age of three, he’d relocated from Indiana to the neon-lit metropolis of 1980s Tokyo. As the only foreigner or ‘gaijin’ from Japanese kindergarten right through to high school in both Japan and the US, he’d battled to fit in. He’d fought his corner hard and found a degree of acceptance.
Back in the US with his Japanese sensibilities, a new cycle of bullying began. People thought he talked ‘funny,’ and for a young Casey Bales the trauma of culture shock hit hard.
Invisible Outsider is a raw read into teenage ‘becoming’ that charts the ups and downs of Casey’s emotional and inspirational journey: his life in Hawai‘i, where he follows in the steps of Barack Obama’s father; his continuing love affair with Japan; and his determination to build bridges between his Third Culture Kid (TCK) identity and multicultural America.
With academic insight and a deep knowing, Invisible Outsider lays a path for other TCKs to follow. At its heart is a message of hope: cross-cultural experience can promote global literacy, harmony, and mutual understanding. As Casey navigates wildly different cultures and loses his bond with his homeland, he instead finds a connection with the wider human race.
"A story of cultural courage."