We live in a busy environment where it is easy for anyone to slip into monotony. The best way to break free is to travel to a foreign country -away from your comfort zone. With so many ways to travel, many people yearn to travel abroad but the fear of cultural shock deters many from making the journey.
Cultural shock is an emotional disorientation characterized by a feeling of anxiety. It usually happens when one is isolated from family and friends in an entirely new environment. To deal with cultural shock, we have suggested before that many people plan their tours as a group. However, when you travel with a group, you may likely miss out on the opportunity of immersing yourself in the culture of your host country -and miss out on lifelong experiences.
Most of us have a stereotypical idea of a group of people. Our judgments are usually based on information we scrapped off news sites and stories. When we get the opportunity to live with such cultures, we often discover that what we know about them have been biased or incomplete. Cultural immersion when we travel is beneficial in a number of ways.
"Figuring out how the public transport works, you are building your confidence."
You will be hit by a number of obstacles to overcome when you travel to a foreign land. From asking questions, some of which might seem embarrassing, to finding your way around streets to figuring out how the public transport works, you are building your confidence. When you conquer a foreign land, you will suddenly discover that you can do more in your home country, where at least you share the same language and culture.
When you travel to a foreign country, you shape your rounded image of humanity. When you base your judgment on media propaganda, you tend to have a biased image of a race or country. For example, NGO adverts have been popular for depicting African countries and a few third world countries across the world as poverty-stricken regions. When you get the chance to travel to the regions, you will discover that there is a more complex scene. As you break down the barriers, you will begin to see the different cultures, not as separate entities but as a global entity.
In other locations, the habits and traditions of people are strongly linked to their cultural past. With modern travelling habits by those in economically strong areas, spectacle of music, drama, and dance are usually staged for visitors. This can make it difficult to know which is authentic and which is faked, but nevertheless, one gets a taste of the artistic expression of the newly explored area. Online travel review websites can serve as a means to gauge authentic culture, especially when there are lots of comments and feedbacks saying the same thing. If you are lucky enough to align your travel with a community festival, you will definitely stand a greater chance of experiencing something authentic where everyone participates. The most rewarding events are usually the ones you stumble upon or experience while living within the local community.
"Learning more than one language increases your opportunities."
Learning more than one language increases your opportunities especially as globalization is reducing the distance between different countries of the world. When you travel to Europe, for example, you will witness an array of languages. When you can speak the local language, it becomes easier for you to communicate, which opens you to many more people you can connect with.
When you immerse yourself in the culture of your host country as you travel, you build a social network. If you have the intention to work abroad, how well you interact with the local people will go a long way to determine how successful you become there.
The odds are that you will get an exciting treatment and experience when you travel abroad. If you don’t, at the very least it will help you to appreciate your own home and culture should you return.