Preparing for culture shocks is important when going to a foreign country. Even though traveling and visiting new countries is a wonderful thing sometimes it can also get frustrating. I’m not claiming I’m an expert in this field, because I still experience them. But, during my years of traveling I have worked out some ways to at least avoid a few of them.
1. Read, watch and try to engage as much as possible with the country before you go there.
It will not prepare you for everything but it will still give you fragments of knowledge that might come in useful during your trip. Wikipedia and travel guides are always a good place to start but they are most of the time created with an outsider’s point of view. If you’re going to spend some time in the country try to engage with material produced by people from the country whether it’s movies, news papers, or novels.
2. Accept that it’s simply different.
Some things are just different. The easy way out is to just wishing it would be like home. But some things are different. These things might seem illogical to you, you get irritated by the inefficiency and you just can’t get your head around the fact that they don’t do it your way. The feeling is completely normal but the more you bang your head against the wall trying to change something that is not in your place to try to change, the more frustrated you will get. Some things are just different and accepting that as a fact will save you a lot of headaches.
3. All differences might not be cultural differences.
You might come across a lot of things that you find shocking and outright horrible. Some of this things might be culture traits and then it’s important to remember that this is just one part of the culture. It might be difficult to know whether it is part of the culture or not but you should never assume that it does. Try to talk to local people about it and see what they have to say.
Good luck, and remember, the more culture shocks you experience the more you will learn about yourself and country you are visiting.