We all have people that we turn to for life advice.
If you’re married, it’s your spouse.
If you’re on a gold health insurance plan, it’s your therapist.
If you’re Pocahontas, it’s Mother Willow.
Ever since I passed through the angst-ridden years of high school and realized that my parents were not, in fact demons sent by an underlord to ruin my life, I looked to them for guidance.
Important topics ranging from my career choices (“Is this a worthwhile opportunity?”), to relationship partners (“Ditch him or stick it out?”), to money (“WHAT ON EARTH IS A ROTH IRA?!?!”) got filtered through them. This isn’t to say that I was incapable of making decisions on my own, but it bolstered my confidence once they gave an idea the green light.
Sometimes we've agreed, sometimes we haven’t, but my parents have always respected me enough to take a step back after we've talked.
I am the one piloting the ship, after all. But, it’s still taken me a long time to learn to trust myself as captain.
For the hypochondriacs among us, WebMD covers a fair amount of ailments we might feasibly incur.
Culture shock didn’t make the cut.
Yet, the term gets thrown around as if it’s a common and treatable issue, like air sickness or jet lag.
I’ll be honest, before my first ever trip abroad, I did not understand what this mythical culture shock was. I envisioned myself experiencing real shock — body tensed up, a look of horror upon my face, not speaking –– the works. As if moving to a new country for a few months would cause all my functions to freeze up, rendering me nonfunctional.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that culture shock isn’t any of those things. In fact, it doesn’t really resemble anything you would call your family doctor about.
Ultimately, culture shock looks different to every person, but some symptoms might look familiar to frequent travelers and nomads.
So, what is culture shock? And what is the antidote?
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Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.