East Meets West: How to Avoid Culture Shock When Traveling Abroad

To every person traveling abroad, avoid making any kind of gestures because you never know what faux pas you might make! With that being said, let’s talk about how you can avoid culture shock when traveling to a new country.

Here’s what we know: absorbing the cultural gap comes in 4 stages:

  1. Initial euphoria (intense excitement about experiencing something new)
  2. Hostility and irritability
  3. Gradual adjustment
  4. Adaptation

How to Reach the Adaptation Stage?

When traveling abroad, the first and foremost thing that you should consider about is being open about change, i.e., embrace the difference. Your expression will give it all away, which is why you should better read up on the country you will be visiting.

  • Instead of getting upset on things that don’t go the way they go in your country, make it an opportunity to learn about the social cues and rules
  • Take part in some cultural event to truly understand where these people are coming from.
  • Strike a friendship with a local and get to know him or her on a personal level
  • Maintain a positive and polite attitude in every situation
  • Pick up some words that are used commonly and try to use them in conversations (locals love it when foreigners try to embrace their language)
  • Do not say something in the heat of the moment. When in a confusing situation, take a deep breath and find a logical reason behind the person’s actions. It might seem strange but only to you
  • Win over the locals by appreciating their national dishes

It’s quite easy to come off as rude when you are in a foreign country. This is why it is important to know about the basic social cues so that you do not offend someone. Once you become familiar with the surroundings, you will have a great time.