postheadericon How to Cope With Culture Shock While Traveling

No matter how well you’ve packed your bags, how many books you have read on your destination or how prepared you have made yourself, culture shock is a real phenomenon that can hinder your enjoyment of a trip abroad. Learning how to cope with culture shock while traveling, though, can be the key to optimal trip enjoyment and result in less time feeling the anxiety and stress that culture shock can put on your emotional and physical well-being.

How to Cope With Culture Shock While Traveling

1 Understand the symptoms of culture shock to know when you are beginning to experience it. Upon arrival at your destination, or even while you are still in transit, you will feel excited about the experiences that you are having. This can move into sadness, frustration or anger, though, if the local culture is unfamiliar to you and hard to understand and/or navigate. This could include language barriers, or the people might not be as polite as you are used to. Over-stimulation from your new environment can also make you tremendously uncomfortable and overwhelmed.

How to Cope With Culture Shock While Traveling

2 Take precautions to prevent and/or deal with culture shock before you travel abroad. It’s usually inevitable that culture shock is going to happen, so putting steps into place to have the resources to deal with it will make it an easier transition from frustration to enjoyment of your trip. Learn not only about the attractions of the country or countries that you are visiting, but study their nuances as well.

How to Cope With Culture Shock While Traveling

Try to also learn a few common phrases in the native language to help you assimilate better. Keep an open mind about the experience, and take each obstacle in stride. Realize that everything that you are going through is part of a bigger picture, and the only way that you will enjoy your trip is if you allow yourself to. Pack something from home to help ground you in the familiar. Be it a book, family photos or something that helps you sleep, returning to your hotel room to what is familiar will help you better cope with your surroundings.

How to Cope With Culture Shock While Traveling

3 Take steps while you are in the country to better enjoy your experience. Observe what is going on around you before immediately jumping in. Watch how the females dress or how the people conduct themselves. Model your clothing and behavior around what they are doing so as to not stick out as obviously. Leave room in your schedule for the unexpected. Allow ample time for local travel, and be prepared for delays that may occur. Look for familiar sites to give you a taste or feel of home. McDonald’s can generally be found worldwide, so if you are feeling homesick, pop in for a burger and fries to settle your nerves for a bit.

Leave a Reply