With my love for travelling and my various experiences, people always ask me how I cope with culture shock, venturing to exotic destinations and visiting exciting places with different ways of life.
I always find it really hard to answer people but before I go into my personal experiences, below is a few different things you can expect going from your home city to a new country or a rural community.
The difference in weather can and will be somewhat unbearable, the noise on the streets will be something different to what you are used to, expect dust in the air and then mix this with a language unknown to you & a complete difference in food. If you aren’t knowing what to expect, culture shock will get to you.
Culture shock – part of the experience
No matter where you are from, most travellers will gain some form of culture shock when arriving to a new destination different from their home country, especially in terms of culture, religion and language.
Whether this is light or severe is a different question but culture shock is part of the process and for some, experiencing this is all part of the reason to travel. Finding and looking for the things we cannot experience at home and learning to adapt to the new way of life is something most enjoy taking part in. This process usually lasts for a few days but can take a week for some.
Preparing for culture shock
A great way to manage culture shock is to take some time researching the destination you are visiting beforehand, prepare yourself for what is coming. Take some time to read up on your destination, learn about the etiquette for tipping, ordering food, asking for directions, religious & local cultural events and try to learn some local language.
Read online travel blogs and check to see if there is a checklist for things to take which will help you. Finding out other peoples recommendations is a great way to match your travelling experience and see the issues they have faced so you don’t have to. For my recommendations and some top tips for international travel; click here
Culture shock of return
This is always a hard one for me especially when spending 12 weeks in rural communities, I see how quickly we don’t need materialistic items and how having gadgets around us all the time is never going to make us happy.
With spending time in a rural community, I realised how much ‘connected’ everyone is with each other, there’s a wider feeling of belonging & you are able to have some of the most honest conversations with people you will be able to have.
For those of you reading this who have never travelled outside your home country, I understand that the thought of travelling to a new location can seem quite daunting & the thought of leaving your home comforts can be scary but we are resilient and our ability to adapt to new surroundings is something that you haven’t quite realised yet.
Spending time in a hostel and meeting new people is a great way of making new friends and hearing a new perspective on life to what you are used to can be greatly refreshing.
Please share with your friends and family and start to plan your next travelling venture, Comment below and let me know where you would love to go to next