It’s always fun to travel, but not that easy to be in another country and to live in a totally different culture, where people have completely different values and different points of views on life.
Reading books about another country and learning about elements of new tradition is brilliant. However, when you come and face with cross-cultural misunderstanding you kind of understand that the books you read were just small parts of it.
The same story with being a tourist, when everything seems to you just perfect and ideal. Since everybody is nice with tourists, local people understand that they at least should show all the best sides of this or other culture. So, at the end of travelling tourist just want to stay there or always want to come back.
The elements of deep culture or tradition never appear on the first weeks or even on the first months of your being member of a new society. Everybody encounters with this situation in a different way in a different time, but soon or later we all meet it for sure.
As we know it is always fun and joyful to meet new people, to explore interesting places and crazy traditions. But time flies just like an arrow and later you will notice the first signs of «storm» coming when you dive into the society deeper.
The term cross-cultural misunderstanding means that when people from different cultures are interacting, and one of them acts in a way that is normal in their culture, but the other person does not understand the message in the way that it was sent, due to difference in culture.
Me, personally, found it’s a bit confusing and I guess now I am in a period of cultural disorientation. As I told I was really full of aspiration to get to know more and to learn to think differently and globally. So, now, I am right in the middle of my experience working and living in one of the best European countries, where people live without any borders, where you do not need to think about your safety and where you more or less just enjoy every moment of your life.
Since, I am doing my EVS in an international team it is even more interesting to get to know about cultural differences and it requires carefulness sometimes. But, i believe that since i am here, i have to take a risk and sometimes better to make a mistake and learn from it outright🙂
But for now I want your attention to be directed on the tips that I am going to give in order to keep your state of mind well.
Try to do not compare the new culture with your own culture. Especially if you grow up in a developing country and now you live in a country, which is on of the happiest countries on Earth.
Surround yourself with those people, who can always support you and give great suggestions.
Meet up those people, who has been traveling and experiencing new cultures a lot. Listen to their stories and become stronger.
Try to keep in touch with your parents. Talk to your friends, who are in a foreign country as well, so you have the same «problems». Discuss with them!
Make friends with those people, who are interested in your culture or even with the ones who speak your language.
Learn the local language, so you can understand their culture and show your interest.
Be open and easy-going🙂
Always ask! If you do not understand some movement or gesture or whatever, just ask! I am sure, people will be just happy to discuss it with you.
Go to public places; cafe, cinema, concert, disco, organizations … Try to meet up different people with different lifestyle.
Accept new knowledge with humor and be like a «child» in your mind.
Be busy all the time! It is the best decision.
Understand that everything that does not kill you, makes you stronger, thats why you should keep moving forward.
In fact, you are not losing anything, vice-versa you are gaining a huge experience and sharpening your character. Just remember it.