Culture shock is different for many people. It usually hits when your “honeymoon” phase is over and you really realize the culture that you are submersed in. When it hits you are more than a tourist, you are experiencing a whole new culture but living and trying to function in it at the same time. Sometimes it can be as little as being hungry all the time, or wishing you could have a hamburger for lunch.
Culture shock is a learning process. Through it you learn more about the culture, and you learn a lot about yourself. When you have those days when you just want to be home, you have to tell yourself it is worth it, and push yourself to take in every experience possible. It’s not something you can avoid, but it is something can take advantage of and learn from. Although the change of lifestyle is hard to get used to, its puts you in other peoples shoes, and you see how they live their daily life.
I experienced culture shock the second week here in Costa Rica. I had no appetite, and I wanted to sleep all the time. Although I had to feed to my feelings at the time, I had to allow myself to be uncomfortable. It’s always nice to know that you are going to experience it before you do, because you can prepare yourself to miss home, and know how to deal with it. Being around other people and talking about things is the best way to express your feelings and get through the initial shock.
Written By Nicole Williams, Social Media Journalist