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Did you experience culture shock when travelling overseas?

by annlu (follow)
Travel (244)      Wellbeing (113)      Culture (37)     

monks preying at a state ceremony in Cambodia

Have you travelled overseas and experienced different cultures for a little or a long time? Did you experience culture shock whilst away?

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I got a culture shock actually when I came to Australia. I had a very very different impression of this country but when I got here, I was taken aback. I was coming from NYC, expecting something similar (in terms of pace of life) in middle of winter. What I got was gray short cold days with no night life whatsoever (2005). Got the biggest shock. took me a few years to get used to the laid back lifestyle here.
In terms of culture shock when traveling overseas, I do read up a bit before going to a place so I sort of know what to expect.
LOL.... looks like you got one end, and I got the other :)
by jonaja
I went to America.
The first time I lived with friends of my husbands...but! it was in Compton. LA

Now for those who don't know about Compton, lets just say...I'm lucky to be alive.
No joking.Plus I was living there for some time, had no idea and went for a walk during the day.
My husband then read me the 'riot act', saying if I wanted to stay alive, to ''stay in doors'' and Never leave without him.
I use to have to run into the car, and drop down in the front seat, and he would drive, until it was safe for me to sit up.That could be 10 mins.

We just had no where else to stay, for a few weeks.

I was the only white face I ever saw, so it did make me feel out of my
depth.The people I did talk too looked quite shocked, when I went to the local shop alone...that one time.

OMG, that sounds like a truly shocking experience. I hope that your lasting impression of the US is not based on your stay in LA.
I love America , I just had no idea what my husband had for accommodation, at the time! lol...all up been 3 times. :) just one of life's experiences that's all.
by jonaja
No, I enjoyed the differences, except for the public loos in Rome, which were basically a pit in the ground. I couldn't get used to those.

Biggest culture shock for me was going from Ireland to Asia. First time i drive across Indonesia and it was amazing and very hard the cultural difference like food, people's mannerisms, poverty etc very hard but great to experience. Life changing for me
Not usually. I travel in Asia quite regularly (especially India) and feel a strong affinity with it. However, when I first visited Europe I actually felt more of a culture shock, as it's so similar to Australia in many ways, but in others very, very different. I loved it (especially Britain, where my grandparents migrated from, many years ago) but it definitely took some time to get used to this paradox.
Normally in Asia we're fine, but in Hong Kong, there was this weird thing where we'd ask for something and they wouldn't say no but we also wouldn't get it either- and we couldn't get any food with vegetables (I ended up getting a plate of bok choi from a medicine store)...so it was little things like that - and much harder than I'd expected, having been fine in many other countries in Asia.
I got culture shock upon returning to Australia - after living in Asia, it was so clean here and so many regulations and way more materialistic. I found it difficult to come to terms with how expensive everything is in Australia.
by Lucy
Having travelled extensively, & treated such travel as an 'adventure', only once did I experience 'culture shock'

That was in Mexico City. I was staying with friends' in their 'mansion' (literally!) set on FIVE acres in the middle of this populous city, with all at my disposal. When being taken 'sightseeing', went through an excessively poor part, & the people were living in cardboard boxes, joined together to make 'rooms'. It was shocking to see. The difference between the 'haves' & 'have nots' has NEVER been more apparent than then, or ever since. I was a very naive 22yo at the time.
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