Culture Shock: Why it’s a good thing

We’ve all been there. Whether it was due to starting at a new school or job, moving away or even settling abroad: Culture shock is a thing. It leaves us with lasting impressions and ways to improve and better our lives and the way we live them. Personally, I think it’s crucial to experience culture shocks every once in a while in order to become the person you wish to be.

Culture Shock

Of course, there are different levels of culture shocks and depending on these, it’s more difficult to adjust and assimilate to a foreign culture. However, once you learn to do so, you gain so much perspective and understanding – understanding for the foreign culture as well as yourself. For several reasons, I therefore believe you can gain much from these so-called culture shocks and grow as a person. Be careful though, they are addictive:

  1. It makes you stronger to assimilate to foreign norms and behaviour through various and different challenges. Leaving one’s comfort zone is never easy, however, through loneliness and battles, you develop thicker skin
  1. As a result, it makes you more confident in yourself and your capabilities. Furthermore, you end up believing in yourself and stop finding excuses for not chasing your dreams
  1. You will inevitiably start chasing your dreams and you’ll find inspiration for further personal development through it. There’s thus something truly uplifting and inspirational about the process of culture shocks
  1. Furthermore, you will get to know yourself better and find out what you want in life as a result. Only through challenges, you’re faced with making important (life) decisions. As such, you have to dare to choose, and there’s no better way to discover yourself than through these life decisions
  1. Finally, it gives you a chance to start all over. Whenever you enter a new culture, you have to start over – you have to find your role in all of it. As a result, you get to reinvent yourself – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity (unless you chase these culture shocks on a regular basis: Then you get to experience it every once in a while). In other words, you get the chance to become whoever you want to be…and is there anything better than that in the long run?

xo P!



13 thoughts on “Culture Shock: Why it’s a good thing

  1. I remember my first trip to Germany! I was in the Army and very used to America’s ways as far as walking out your door and everything is right there anytime all the time! So I was playing football all day and not worried about where I was going to get something to eat. Well later on that night, chow hall closed, I went out for pizza! the whole german town I lived near was dark! Noone out! WTF! I was thinking! I walked for miles and didn’t find anything AND it was still daylight at 10pm! LOL! I went back to the barracks to scrounge food from my fellow soldiers! Luckily the Army chicks always have food!

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  2. My daughter is studying abroad right now and the thought that “she will never be the same person” after this experience has been in the back of my mind since she left. Also thinking about how adaptable we are as humans. Whatever the situation after a pretty short time it becomes “the norm” for that time and it never seizes to amaze me! Thanks for the post! 🙂

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  3. You can even have culture shock on a short trip, not just when moving abroad! Many years ago I went to Bangkok for work – I’d been there as a child but not after that. Bangkok really hit my senses in a way that did not feel good. There was too much of everything – rubbish, beggars, scammers, prostitution. These days I love BKK. There’s a lot of seedy things going on but I’ve learned to see past that. In a way it’s sad bc you become numb to many of these things which should not be happening, like children begging on the street 😦

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    • Of course you can – you can have culture shocks in all foreign and different cultures of life 🙂
      Indeed! We become aware of the norm in the cultures and adapt – even if it’s “not okay” as you write. I find this apsect very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I suppose it would be a pretty humungous cluture shock bumping into an extra-terrestrial visitor. The nature of that shock would depend on whether he/she/it/they zapped you with a Kill-o-Zap blaster pistol…or not.


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