There’s nothing I love more than touring the world and getting a chance to see different cultures. In many cases, I find myself shocked by some of the differences between other cultures and my own, while also being able to embrace some of the finer aspects of life that I can never get at home.
I’ve been to multiple different countries, and had many experiences that I never would have been capable of having had I not left the confines of my own country.
The immediate culture shock
Anyone who goes to a different country for the first time is likely to suffer from a bit of culture shock when they first get there. This is perfectly normal, and it’s something that I have gone through many times.
If you are visiting a first-world country, the shock is generally not going to be nearly as difficult to deal with as in a second-world country, but you still will need to adjust to the norms of the country you’re visiting.
Who you know can be important
What you ought to do when first visiting a new country is to get to know some of the people who live there. I have always tried to get in contact with someone who lived in a specific country before I made my visit, as doing this helps me to prepare myself.
It is a bit easier if the person who lives there is American themselves, as you won’t have to deal with a language barrier. However, this isn’t always an option.
Utilizing the knowledge of a resident has always been useful to me, in any case, as they are generally able to help me adjust to the culture that I am being a part of.
Adjusting to cultural norms
Every time I visit a new country, I try and immerse myself in the country’s culture so that I have as good an understanding of it as possible by the time I return home.
Of course, staying in a country for a week doesn’t really give you enough time to fully understand any culture, but the more immersed in it you become, the more understanding of the cultural norms you will be.
I always like to eat the food, take part in the traditions, and try to have conversations with the people. Planning your trip around certain cultural events or holidays can really help you when it comes to understanding the cultural norms and traditions.
There have been many times in which I’ve returned home from a trip and found myself missing the culture I just left. It is the countries I miss the most in these circumstances that end up being the ones I frequent the most.
Of course, there is something to be said for the familiarity of home, and I would never want to live anywhere else, but I have grown in my understanding of the world through my regular tourism, and this is something that is irreplaceable.