When you are out of your comfort zone, it is easy to feel lost. Facing extremely different cultures from yours can be overwhelming. It is one of the cases often happen during travelling. Many travelers experiencing things they have never imagined before, leaving them in shock. Some travelers even stop travelling for awhile due to the shock. However, culture shock doesn’t have to be traumatizing. You can use it as an experience you can save for later use. This way, you will be more prepared later when facing possibly same situation.
How to deal with culture shock when travelling
Travelling is one of the most valuable experiences. It can taught you many things, open your eyes to so many beautiful things around the world, and have your own freedom to enjoy your time. However, travelling to a place you have never visited before can put you in culture shock. So how to anticipate and deal with it?
Know what to expect
First thing, know what to expect by doing your own research. Even though learning from what you read is different from experiencing it yourself, at least you have the knowledge of the place you are going to visit. Even if you are caught off guard, you will be able to recover quickly. Also, keep in mind that no matter how beautiful every description of a place you are going to visit is, always open your mind for different reality. Sometimes, the place is not as paradise-like as you have thought.
Check in your assumption
If you are planning to visit developing countries, it is highly likely that you will experience culture shock. Do not make any assumption of who is who or how things done in the place you are visiting. It is important to check your assumptions and be more open-minded. It may not be easy because you have grown up in different cultures. However, always remember that during your trip, you can also learn many new things. Different things don’t mean bad. It is just different and that’s how beautiful the world is when you can see past differences.
Remember that you are your own person
During your trip, always keep in mind that you are your own person. You are a visitor and basically strangers to the local yes. However, you don’t owe them to share your wealth. Always take risk assessment in ever situation. For example, when a poor-looking woman ask you to go with her to certain places or offer to guide you. You don’t have to follow her. Make your own judgement to see the risk. However, refuse the offer with respectful words and gestures or it will lead to an unnecessary fight.
Always stay on guard
Focus more on how you can make the most of your visit instead of always thinking of the danger lurking around due to being out of your comfort zone. You can stay guard while enjoying the place. If you have difficulty in navigating your time, you can ask get help from local guide. Make sure that you choose the one who is professional and trusted.