Are you the type of person that can fit in anywhere? If so, Lucky You! But this might not always be the case. People will experience culture shock at some point in their life. Culture Shock is a feeling of insecurity, disorientation, and confusion in a new country. It is all about processing the new way of life in this new environment. Things as little as the tone of voice and gestures can have very different meanings to what you think. Be CAREFUL!
You are about to have an experience of a lifetime, make the most of it. Carry out research on the country in which you are traveling to, to have a general background of what life and the people are like. Hopefully, by doing this you will not be hit by too many surprises.
As the saying goes, ‘ Your health is your wealth’. Make sure to stay active to have as much energy as possible, and of course get sufficient sleep. Go out and get involved in any local activities that are happening. Experience the culture in the way the local people do it. Perhaps the country you are visiting has a traditional sport, take part and be able to say that you tried. Who knows… it could be your hidden talent!
As hard as it may seem, try not to spend your time contacting home to inform them that you are homesick every five minutes. This will not only worry them but also make you feel worse. It will constantly keep your mind occupied with these emotions. Stop focusing on what is happening at home, (your parents are probably still sitting on the couch watching that boring programme you hate!) Instead, focus on reporting back home with everything you have done, your amazing experiences and people you have met. Yes, do make them jealous 😉
If someone invites you somewhere, GO! There is no reason to stay at home feeling sorry for yourself. Staying in by yourself will only make you feel worse. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, step out of your comfort zone and become one of the locals. Make friends with positive-minded people who will help you remember this journey of a lifetime. Explore the countryside, go trekking, learn the language and most importantly, have fun.
Different countries have different gestures and tone of voice. If you think someone might be negative towards you, be careful, as they could mean something very different in their own language. Do not interpret behaviour from your own perspective. If you are unsure about something, just ask, don’t assume and fill your mind with doubt.
Living abroad is all about what you make of your experience there.