Culture shock has affected us all when we’ve arrived in the city we are relocating to, especially when the city is in a new country, and when that new country is a long way away from the old one. Things that you once thought were normal are now seen as crazy, and things you think are crazy are done on the regular by the locals.

And there’s no end to culture differences. When you go back to your home country you can have re-culture shock – the trauma of having to reintegrate and relearn all those things that are commonplace or taboo all over again.

Culture and re-culture shock are commonly accepted reactions to relocation, but there is a third level of culture shock – the reaction you have to the culture shock of others. When traveling another country with a group of tourists from your own country, it can be sad to see the reactions of the rest of the group to the environment you are in. Complaints are made about the food, the coffee, the lack of hot water and the quality of the roads, often within earshot of service staff or
locals.

It can be disheartening to see the level of intolerance fellow people have for other cultures and places, and the carelessness with which they are expressing themselves about it. Sometimes the worst thing is to see what is happening (their culture shock) but not being able to explain, involve, interfere, educate, provide support.

This third level of culture shock can, therefore, be defined by the emotion that we feel when we see someone else’s culture shock – the reaction of another individual to a host culture. This could be a positive or a negative reaction – the disgust you feel when someone makes a racist comment about a local, or the joy you get from watching someone discover a new way of looking at something. This is the kind of culture shock that is not easily overcome because it isn’t necessarily experienced
often.

To avoid the third tier of culture shock, it is wise to make yourself first as comfortable as possible in your new surroundings. This way, when you have the chance to share your new life with an outsider, you can put them immediately at ease and show them why you love your new surroundings. GLOBALS can help with the logistical stuff – taking the pain and hassle out of finding all the relocation solutions so that you can get started immediately on falling in love with your new home, and maybe help others do the same.

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