Culture shock is a funny thing. I’ve experienced it a few times, particularly in Asia and Africa where the cultures are more different to my own, and there have been times when it’s kind of taken the wind out of my sails and I’ve had a day or so feeling a bit uncomfortable in a new place.
Luckily for me it never lasts and it’s actually something I kind of crave – I love exploring cultural differences and finding out how another country’s people really tick – once I get through the initial shock phase!
This episode of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast has a range of interesting experiences of culture shock and I’m sure there’ll be some you can identify with, too.
Show notes: Episode 41 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast
Culture Shock Abroad
Travelling to countries with different customs and cultures from your own can induce varying kinds of culture shock, and Episode 41 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast looks at a few examples of culture shock across Asia and the Middle East.
I begin by speaking to Matt Treglia about some of his very first travel experiences abroad, and especially the terror that came with trying to cross a busy road in Thailand, and his new-found love of the fact that most places outside of his home country of the United States don’t expect you to tip people!
Following Matt, I talk to Diana Edelman more about the cultural differences in Thailand and the various customs Diana had to get used to when she moved to Thailand. There is a lot to learn, and the Thai people don’t want you to lose face by telling you about the mistakes you make, so it’s a tricky road to navigate.
Emma Mann then talks to me about the unease she felt travelling as a young woman in the Middle East, when it was made clear to her that she shouldn’t speak or be involved in any decision making – something that was very different to the way she had been brought up in Australia.
- Matt’s site Words with Winos
- Words with Winos podcast
- My post on things I didn’t expect in Bangkok
- Diana Edelman at D Travels Round
- Diana’s new site, Vegans Baby
- Emma Mann at The Vagabond Feminist
- Emma’s Flying Foodie blog
- Japan Times article on “hesokuri”