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Five Ways To Deal With Culture Shock Before Traveling

Travelers Today       By    JC Santos

Updated: Feb 27, 2017 03:43 AM EST

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Culture Shock
Traveling is fun and enjoyable -- until one has to deal with the negative aspects of the destination's culture. Here are five ways to help one deal with possible culture shock.
(Photo: Travis Bryant/YouTube Screenshot/

Sometimes, seeing new sights and experiencing new cultures, which once seemed "magical" or "new," could become ultimately frustrating or even troubled. This is one's native culture clashing with another -- a term called "culture shock." These five help travelers cope easier with the clashes even before the airplane lands.

It is best to stick with a known routine before traveling. According to Go Overseas, finding a healthy distraction is one way. Pick up a hobby before traveling -- such as playing music, writing or drawing -- or even just a book to read or a smartphone game. Concentration through a familiar activity helps the mind "rest" and makes analysis of the existing destination -- and taking in all the facts -- easier.

One way to ease in culture shock is to plan "tourist" itineraries, which involves seeing museums, parks, and tour guide-led hikes to different areas of the country. Most websites, blogs and even news articles showcase hints of culture inside the country. Blogs offer the best advice on avoiding gestures or words that could offend local individuals.

The best way to go about a foreign country is to make friends with a local. Gadling agrees -- a local individual in a country shows the no-holds-barred true culture of one's travel destination. As they had lived in the destination for years, these individuals teach travelers about tradition, culture, proper manners and even looking out for possible danger. Also, they just enrich the travel experience pricelessly.

Regardless of things in the destination's society that one could disagree with such as racial discrimination embedded in culture, the country's political situation and other negative aspects, the best way to experience a good and less shocking experience is to understand the way the destination's culture and traditions work -- even if one disagrees with it. Being non-judgmental helps plenty to improve the travel experience.

Lastly, the best way to avoid culture shock is to go through extensive research. Go through lengths from a simple travel magazine to a social and cultural study paper available to read online. The more information collected, the better one can watch out for possible clashes in culture -- and the better one's preparation before heading out into the open.

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