Culture Shock will always get you!

Eating out with friends, Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

It’s been already 3 months since I arrived to Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is my 9th country I live in, and Asia my 3rd continent.

Thinking about the experience in all these places, I can say that I understood really well what is culture shock and how it affects me.

Have you ever went through culture shock?

If you’ve been living in other country for the period longer than 3 months, then yes, you did. Bu what is culture shock? Is what you experience living abroad – you go through different emotional periods while being surrounded by culture different from your native one.

Holi Festival, Malaysia 2013

At the beginning, when you arrive everything is new, amazing, interesting. You are excited about new place, new people, different food and lifestyle – that’s a period called Honeymoon.

The time passes and so does your excitement – you start to feel homesick, missing your friends, family, food… you feel like coming back home. You compare your culture to the one you live in now. And new culture annoys you, there are so many things they should improve at! This period, called “Crisis” is reached after more or less 3 months.

Then you start adjusting to the culture – depending how long you’re staying, you can completely adjust, partially or… not at all. It depends on the personality, on the reason you came to new country, whether you have something to come back to.

Image

So, I’m in so called “Crisis” period.

Because I have passed through it few times already, I expected it to come. This time is less intense for me that it was when I moved abroad for one year to Italy, but I still go through it. You cannot avoid it, it doesn’t matter how experienced you are living abroad!

Β But this time is different for me.

What happened to me before, was that I was struggling with the culture, I felt emotionally isolated, it was hard for me to build new life from scratch – finding new friends, new favourite places, creating new routine. But I must say, I have never felt home sick. Till this time.

Maybe it’s because my last months before leaving were one of the best I’ve had in my life. I created strong realtionships with many people, people that I do miss.

“My” Place in Europe – Vistula Riverside, Warsaw, Poland

And I have the ticket booked to go back home and stay there for a while. I plan to travel and to see with the people who are important to me. As Europe feels like home even more than Poland, I just want to move around.

Even though my life here, in Malaysia, is wonderful, and even though I truly enjoy it, realising my dreams, like scuba diving license, I feel excited about visiting Europe again; and I have never felt like that before. I can feel something amazing will happen.

And what is your experience?

Have you ever experienced culture shock? Was it similar to W-Curve from the picture, or was it different? Share with your experience below πŸ™‚

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7 thoughts on “Culture Shock will always get you!

  1. Hey Olya, thanks for your comment! I actually did my license in Perhentian Islands 2 weeks ago! I do recommend – it’s picturesque 18 metres under water: you really feel like being in different world πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Chande! Enjoy your honeymoon stage! And keep in mind that others are also a part of our experience abroad πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how long I will stay in Malaysia, but I’m going to spend July in Europe. I think we should meet somewhere on the way πŸ˜€

  2. I guess I am in the adjustment stage now. And as I am planning to stay here (in Denmark) for much longer, I am glad I finally came through my slight homesickness after central Europe and ‘but in my country it is this way’ phases… Good luck πŸ˜‰

    1. Hey Ttrina – thank you for your sharing. Adjustment stage, even though it might not be the most exciting one, I think is the stage that gives you the chance to learn and understand better both the culture of the county you live in, as well as your homeland. For every person it’s different, but what I can say from my experience, as well as experience of my friends that have been living abroad, is the most valuable one you can get when you leave aborad πŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes!

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