Dealing with culture shock when traveling to Southeast Asia

0

Traveling is definitely a thing to do. Widen our horizons and makes us rethink our statements, it is probably the best way to develop our mindset and stay open to ever changing world. When we travel, the thing we notice the most, are the differences: It is natural as we need a context, something to refer to. There fore we refer to what is familiar to us: our home, our country, our culture and our way of being.

Traveling reveals different worlds, different ways and that those differences work for others. But sometimes it causes us to open our eyes wider in astonishment, and sometimes shock. Yes, the world is a definitely amazing place, and every each one of them is different… There is no benchmark, no gold standard on what to eat, how to behave and how to live.  Isn’t that amazing?

Being aware of that, the trip to any place will be always a unique and truly remarkable experience. However the range of how things are different lead to a confusion sometimes. Not only because of those small differences, such as food, or language, but the fundamental understanding of the things we consider axioms, not changeable ones.

Example is time. Time seems to run the same way everywhere, but it simply doesn’t. You don’t believe me? Take a trip to Laos , and you will see how slow time can run. Or visit Ho Ci Minh city (also known as Saigon), and check its hectic streets, to see how fast time can run during rush hours…

We are all different, we have different way of seeing the world, and different expectations. There are surprisingly many similarities among the fellow countrymen whenever they find themselves in a different context. It is amazing how much you have in common with a stranger tourist from your country, once you casually meet each other at a small café in Hanoi. You will see the things around you in a very similar way.

There is one thing that makes our experience so different than anyone elses; it is the way we react to the things. Even if we understand them the same way, our reactions can be very different, and it’s because we are different.

Here I want to mention something that is referred to as a cultural shock. In general that affect expatriates, and people who change their living environment for a longer than just traveling periods of time, which means that travelers are subjected just to the light demo version.

And this is where traveling shows its big advantage: you can experience new, strange, amazing, or a bit crazy things, but this is all just for aa short time, and it is not going to affect your life per se. it leaves an impression in your mind, makes you think, sometimes makes you change your statements, but then you come back and you stay within the comfort and mutual agreement with the surroundings and life as you know, like and accept.  This is what Asia has to offer. Experience the different world, enjoy it, for as long as it makes you comfortable with it.

This is probably the best way to deal with anything that could be seen during your trip in Southeast Asia: things that are is different, sometimes funny, sometimes difficult to accept, but always become an enriching experience in our lives. Another thing is that you can adapt some of those things and take along with you back to your life. Whether it is Yoga, healthy Asian way of eating, Indochina style design, spices, or learning a new language, we can take what we like, and there is a lot to learn and take here.

Feel welcome here. Come, see, experience this world, knowing that this is another way of life, and adapt whatever you might like or find interesting.

See you in Vietnam, see you in Myanmar

 

 

 

Share.

Comments are closed.