30 April 2014
THE “IM NOT USED TO THIS” SYMPTHOMS
Regarding the last post about the big challenge of deciding where to go, lets consider something that is very likely to happen when you first arrive to this new country you carefully have chosen; A culture shock.
You said goodbye to your family and friends at home, feeling nostalgic for the feeling of being apart from them for a period of time but also with the big nice excitement feeling that novelty brings… Lets confess, its very likely that you are not sad at all! And there is nothing wrong with it…you might be scared, anxious or a bit confused but for sure you are somehow very excited about this new experience… However, once you get there, perhaps it doesn’t feel right anymore. It could happen after just minutes, hours, days or weeks or it could just not happen at all.
Culture shock is more common than what we think, and there is also nothing bad about it! It’s a normal, unconscious feeling or process as human beings inserting ourselves into a whole new lifestyle and culture, and its sometimes followed by a first sight romance with the place.
The culture shock, as it is called, is a phenomenon that, in my opinion, happens more as a process than as an immediate shock. There are many factors that can cause this ugly feeling of wanting to go back to homey, familiar, same place we have always lived at and fit perfectly in.
The language barrier, finding out that many of the things you have learned throughout your life are not valid anymore in other culture, and the fact that many of the socially accepted ways of communicating in your culture do not apply anymore so you have to be carefully aware of things that back at home you were doing in un unconscious way are some of the issues that can trigger the called culture shock.
This can lead you to feel homesick, depressed, scared, frustrated nostalgic, isolated and needy to eat a lot!!! (Which is afterwards very regretful, especially for us, vain women).
For me, it has been a matter of keeping your mind open and realizing that if you definitely don’t like it, you don’t have to stay there for the rest of your life!... And if opening your mind to the new ways of doing things is terribly hard for you, then I am so glad you made the decision of travel abroad because this experience will be good for you, you needed it. Even though its feeling a bit uncomfortable, it will help you develop or improve your adaptations skills, which you will need in many aspects of your life!.
At the end, it can only be a positive outcome for you because if you experience the culture shock, it will help you with your personal growth and will also teach you about tolerance, just be aware that it could happen and try to research as much as possible about this new culture, its history, its manners, values and way of doing things.