The Balance Between Culture Shock And Being Too Similar
Travelling has always been important in any individual's life - it's an exciting way of discovering yourself as well as the world and as such holds a loving spot in our hearts.
People travel for different reasons - for work, to visit friends and family, to see something they've always wanted, to move permanently, etc.
Therefore, their trips take different amounts of time and each one has a unique focus.
Regardless of the reason however, it's always exciting when you take your first trip outside your country, because these are often some of the best memories you can create.
But hey, if it’s your first time traveling outside your country, then there are things you may want to consider.
In this article, we’ll go over the most important considerations when traveling out for the first time and give you hints as to where you could possibly go, based on a variety of factors.
So what is culture shock?
Well, it's pretty simple - Culture shock is the feeling you get when your current surrounding environment (both physical and the people in it) are entirely different from anything you've ever seen.
This can generally be either a positive or negative experience, but regardless of which of the two, it's undoubtedly overwhelming and can be pretty exhausting.
For this reason, we’d advise you not to go to a place completely different from the one you're in.
We usually divide cultures by their habits and ideologies.
Think in terms of - Do locals focus on community or are they more individualistic? Are they generally religious or not really? Do they strive for modernization or are they more conservative?
The shock you can feel from these differences isn't always a nice feeling which is why if you're part of one demographic, it's a good idea to not go to the complete opposite on your first time traveling.
That's not to say that you won't enjoy different cultures, just that it will be easier if it is your first trip.
Think of it this way - If you like spicy food and are trying ghost peppers for the first time, you might want to take it easy, because otherwise it’d be overwhelming.
This way, you can avoid some of the more complicated parts of travel, such as always being culturally appropriate with the proper research and forsaking some of your habits for the duration of your visit.
Another positive thing that will happen if you avoid such opposites, again for your first trip, is that you'll be sure to like at least some part of your vacation as it will have similarities to your life and environment as you know them.
Too Much Of The Same Thing
Now with that in mind, this doesn't mean you have to go to a country almost identical to yours.
Most neighboring countries, for example, are pretty similar, and you probably won't get the buzz that comes with being somewhere new and exciting.
Trips have the exact purpose of sprucing up our daily lives, and that is much more easily achieved when new activities, buildings, and people surround us.
It's always interesting to see something you haven't seen before and experience different customs and activities.
You'll also undoubtedly have some first-time encounters with people, festivities, etc. if you visit a unique country, which is often what makes the trip memorable.
These and many more reasons makes it much easier to decide whether or not you should visit a place that has its cultura differences.
Another important aspect is that understanding yourself better and realizing what you love happens on a much deeper level when you've come into contact with different parts of the world.
Travelling to places that have their differences will broaden your culture and inspire you to try even more things.
Keep in mind there isn't a country where there's nothing to see or do, but it's a good idea for first trips to focus on what you've always wanted to see that's different from your everyday environment.
Some Ideas on Where to Go Based on Where You're from
Alright, so how can you choose your perfect first-time destination? Well, it generally depends on quite a few factors like location, language, history and culture, so without further ado, let’s have a look!
Based On Location
You can have some pretty exciting trips whichever part of the globe you're on.
However, if you want a challenge, you can go to a completely different continent.
What's important here is to not overdo yourself either, with things like jet lag.
Generally speaking people from Asia, Europe and Australia can visit each other as they're geographically close and the same goes for people from Africa and the Americas.
This doesn't in any way mean that this is a defining list regarding where you actually go, just that it will probably be a bit easier from a financial standpoint as well as lighter on your body.
Based On Language
Here we offer to try to go to a place where the languages you speak are used, but they have a different native tongue.
Walking around places filled with different words to the ones you understand brings out this childlike curiosity in everyone.
Suddenly menus are deciphering quests, and maps are reasons to pronounce sounds you've never thought you could, making the trip much more fun.
Of course, being around people that do not understand a word you say can be daunting, which is why we suggest for your first trip to go somewhere where you speak at least one of the languages people there know.
This way, you can have all the excitement and none of the difficulty.
Based on History
Try going to a place where there are different historical periods to the ones in your native country.
The history of the world is so huge that if you go somewhere a bit different, you'll definitely find some exciting stories, monuments, and habits from the past.
By broadening your historical culture it is very likely that you'll find some aspects you love.
But even better- You will also come to appreciate your local history even more!
It's common to focus entire trips on different historical periods you wish to know more about, and this can be a great source of inspiration if you're not sure where to go.
In A Nutshell...
Regardless of where you're going, make sure you have a good time.
You do your thing, even if it means going halfway across the world, just make sure to map your trip out just the way you want to.
Keep your focus on what you find exciting, interesting, and enjoyable, and you'll be sure to have a great time.
We also advise you to have some sort of a plan but allow yourself to get lost in the beauty of the place you chose to make your first destination.
Because if everything is perfectly planned and predictable, you leave no room for the magic of life to happen.
With all of this being said, there's nothing left to do but start packing and hop on the metal bird