‘Culture shock’ refers to the feeling of unfamiliarity or surprise a person gets from experiencing the daily routines, cultural norms, attitudes of people, food and other changes to the way of life, that they are unaccustomed.
When travelling to another part of the world, either for a short trip or an extended period of time, it can be difficult to adapt to practices and cultural norms that differ from those you’re used to. So, if you find yourself struggling with culture shock on your next trip, use these tips to beat it!
Research the Country You’ll Be in Prior to Arriving
Researching the country you’ll be in, prior to arrival, gives you a better sense of what to expect upon arriving there. Gaining knowledge of cultural norms will also help you assimilate better into the culture and make you feel like less of an outsider during your stay in the country. For example, understanding what’s considered a polite greeting in that culture or what behaviors are considered rude, will serve you well when you get there.
Guidebooks, news reports or discussions with others that have been there or are from there, are all good ways of getting a better understanding of where you’ll be going.
Record What You Love About Your Host Country
During the first few days in your new destination, make a list of all the things you like about this new country. This list may prove very effective to look back upon when you find yourself frustrated with certain aspects of this new place. It helps to look back and remember all the positive aspects of this country and what you initially liked about it. This will help you maintain a positive outlook.
Attempt to make Local Friends
When you’re in a new location, friends can be even more appreciated. Trying to find friends in the local community, not only gives you people to interact with but individuals who can help you better understand this new culture!