Blog

From the moment you step into a new destination all your senses can literally be assaulted. You will see and smell things that are completely foreign to you...

Travel Tips: Culture Shock, what is it?

01 September 2012

The phrase ‘Culture shock’ may sound like meaningless gobbledygook for some, after all we live in a global village with the internet, and are used to interacting with people from all walks of life – intermingling with diverse cultures, and cuisines. Nothing could possible shock us right?… Well, not exactly.

From the moment you step into a new destination all your senses can literally be assaulted. You will see and smell things that are completely foreign to you, from crazy traffic jams, cows wandering the streets, to people eating with their hands, and animals that you regard as pets being cooked for lunch.

Culture shock is basically a series of events that takes place as your mind goes through the process of acclimatising to a new culture. It happens in three main stages.

The first stage is Excitement - this is that initial rush you feel when you first arrive in a new country. You’re excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead, the sights you’ll see and all the interesting people you hope to meet.

Unfortunately, this is followed by the second stageDepression - this occurs after you’ve spent a some time in the new country, travellers can often begin to feel that the negative aspects of their environment outweigh any positive features – dirty overflowing toilets, or a lack of running water and so on.

And then comes the third and final stage of culture shock, Adjustment – here is when you truly start to absorb the entire experience. Your mind finally comes round to the fact that you cannot change everything, and slowly you’re able to accept all the negative sights and sounds that had previously overwhelmed you.

It is important that you are aware of culture shock so that you can manage it properly. Our best advice is to simply remember our motto ‘See More. Do More’. We believe that this is the only way travellers can truly have an authentic experience – meet the locals, participate in activities, learn the local language and share…