Hello everyone, this is my first article and I wanted to explain how a culture shock can feel like. I am french and I traveled to California for few weeks. At the second weeks I started to do what is called a culture shock. This is just my experience, culture shocks can take different forms.

california Superthumb

For me a culture shock is when the difference between where you used to live and where tou are now is so big that it creates some kind of discomfort.

beach Superthumb

At the begining I didn't feel home but it was okay I discovered new things, new food, new language, new rules to comunicates, new intonation and gestures that I tryed to reproduce to fit in and be more understandable.

food, vintage, and american image

Then I started noticing every differences California had with France even the smallest one and I adopted a critical point of view. Everything I was seeing, visiting, eating, I was judging it, comparing it to what it would have been in France. And of course, at this time, for me things were better in France.
In America, the cities are very different from french cities, I was not used to live in this kind of environment I only saw that in movies, I started to feel in a decor, like if the environment was fake. and I started thinking about everything in a negative way.

architecture aesthetic hollywood city

Fortunately I was warned of the different feelings you can go through when you live far from your home for a certain time. When I realized I was doing a culture shock I try to changed my point of view. The people I was with also helped me a lot by making me feel home (that is really american, you are so welcoming !!!)

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I learned few things from this little experience :

  • Stop comparing everything, it can't be compared, it's just different. Welcome difference, it's extremely important, try to be oppen minded, it's not that easy.
  • Kept focus on what you are doing now it's maybe the only time you will do it, don't think of what you will do later. It's a bit cliché but live the present, once a moment is past it's nothing, just a souvenir so try to have a maximum of souvenir because in the end it's what remains.
  • Don't anticipate too much (it's linked to the second advice), when you planned a trip, try not to think about how your experience is gonna be or what kind of unplanned events could happened because you will be always wrong ! In the worst case you will be disappointed.

These advices may seem obvious and I thought I wasn't a "judging person" until I did this little culture shock.
I hope this will be usefull for some people and I hope I didn't do too many mistakes and that my english is understandable !

Do great trips and have great lifes !

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For more information:

https://medium.com/global-perspectives/the-4-stages-of-culture-shock-a79957726164

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_shock