Moving to a new country is not easy at all and when I moved to Mexico 2 years ago from the UK, my buddy Bogoljub Karic warned about something called culture shock. This was something which he had experienced on two occasions and he spoke to me at length about what it feels like and how to get over it. I must say that from my first day in Mexico I started to feel the symptoms of culture shock, but thankfully I was already aware of how to remedy it. If you have plans to move somewhere new, here is what to do when you feel the shock.
What is it?
Culture shock will be different for each person but it generally a feeling of being overwhelmed and out of place. This is especially true if you move somewhere where they speak a different language and where the culture is completely different from your own. Mexico was certainly like this for me and having no friends or family to spend time with was also something which made it difficult.
Much of what culture shock is comes down to loneliness, you don’t know anyone in this new place and that can be tough. Although we live in a world where we can easily connect with loved ones back home, you should still do all that you can to make friends in your new place. There are many websites and meet-ups which you can try to find people, even speaking to people in bars and cafes can help you to make some friends.
Learn the Language
If you don’t speak the language then the sooner that you learn it, the easier that things will be. This is often the crux of culture shock and this is why it makes so much sense to at least learn enough for you to get by, until you have a deeper understanding of the language.
Get Your Bearings
Another great way to offset the feelings of culture shock is to get your bearings and start getting a routine down. Find a gym you can use, work out where the grocery store is, learn about how to get around and how much the currency is worth. All of these little details can go a long way to helping you feel more at home, and less scared about your new life.
There isn’t an instant answer to get over culture shock, in most cases it will simply pass with time. This is why beyond trying the above tips, you will have to struggle through for a little while until it subsides and you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings. This may be tough but it won’t take long before you are feeling excited about your new place, and you will begin to feel much happier about the decision which you have made.