One of the big hurdles most travelers face is that they come to a new country and feel like they don’t know how to react to what they have seen. This is especially true when you’re traveling to a new country in which they are completely unfamiliar with the language and customs, so you feel like no one is there to understand you. You may have been excited about your trip, but the culture shock may ruin your experience. You may feel unwell, or confused, or even completely lost.
You may feel like you can’t cope. Culture shock may be a common experience for many travelers, but it doesn’t have to ruin your trip.
More About Culture Shock
Culture shock happens when you’re forced to live in a country other than what is your home country, and it’s a lot more than just the language differences. Whether you’re an ex-pat or visiting a new place for the first time, different foods, different cultures, different opinions, different values, and different weather can have a huge impact on your life. Many people deal with culture shock by staying in their hotel room and watching TV, avoidant of interactions. But the truth is, you need to experience the new culture as much as you can. You need to talk to people, get used to the different ways of life, and learn about their culture.
Here are some ways for coping with culture shock, so you can enjoy your trip:
- Keep your expectations low ad realistic. Over the years, we have noticed some travelers who are particularly prone to culture shock, feeling the next time they visit a new country, it is going to be a little more difficult to get around, meet new people and get used to the different aspects of a new environment. However, we have also seen many other travelers who are more likely to be a little more relaxed and prepared for what they may encounter when visiting a new country. The trick is to start by setting realistic expectations and not always expecting to be overwhelmed by the culture.
- Be open-minded. If you have never been to another country, you may feel the culture shock and be worried about the road ahead. But how you feel and even how you act in that situation changes if you have a positive frame. We need to learn to adapt and overcome the culture shock by being open-minded and friendly. In life, you will face many trials, and in addition to that, you will more and more experience culture shock in your daily life.
- Find something similar between your culture and this place. To overcome culture shock, you need to understand the differences between your culture and that of the country you travel to. However, if you don’t research and learn about the local culture before you leave home, you won’t be able to make sense of what’s going on. Do your homework before embarking on this new world.
- Immerse yourself into the local culture. The local culture, however, is something you learn about either by having lived in a country for some time or by living there. It’s unavoidable that, while traveling, you will be exposed to the local culture. To some extent, you will be able to understand the local customs, practices, and mindset. However, if you are going to live there for a while, you would need to learn more about the local culture so that you can be a better traveler.
- Explore new things one at a time. Travel can be such a joy for many people, however, it can also be a shock to the system. For some, it is a new place and new people that they are meeting, while others struggle with learning a new language or getting used to a new way of life. It is important to find a balance of finding new things to do while also learning to cope with the new culture in either case.
Most people know that culture shock is unavoidable when you travel to a new country, but this doesn’t mean you should go into it unprepared. The first thing to remember when visiting a new place is that you aren’t alone—and this is the key to overcoming the feelings of anxiety and panic that come along with being overwhelmed. Before you leave your home, familiarize yourself with the customs and traditions of your new home. Learn their languages, the best places to eat, and other little-known facts about the culture that will help you feel more at ease.