Culture Shock

With only 24 more sleeps until my next adventure, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is that I love about being a solo traveller. As I share with different people where I’m headed on my next trip, for the most part they think I’m nuts. Why would you want to go to Kuwait? Why aren’t you going with anyone? Why don’t you join a tour group rather than gallivanting about on the other side of the world on your lonesome… Well, one of the reasons why I travel the way that I do, is for the culture shock.

The life I have here in New Zealand is very safe. It’s predictable, yet beautiful. Ordinary, yet fulfilling. It is everything a girl could ask for in a country that is clean, safe and promotes freedom. But I have a fire in me that craves challenge and chaos.

I love those moments when I’m travelling abroad and the people around me are speaking a language I don’t understand, and there’s no one next to me to give me the answers. I just have to figure out how to do the things I want to do, and get it done. Landing on foreign soil, when you know no one, there’s no one there to protect you and everything from the surroundings to the smells and sounds are so unfamiliar, drives a surge of exhilaration through me. I crave that feeling and I’m literally counting down til I can experience it again.

People are people, no matter where we are in the world. There will always be someone to help you, someone to talk to, some to laugh with and probably someone who is judging you thinking the worst. But just because we don’t have our mother tongue in common, doesn’t mean we have nothing in common. Different cultures view things differently, and it’s interesting to spend a little time understanding those differences. There is no right or wrong in the game of life, just perspective.

I’ve travelled enough to know that no matter where I am in the world, I make friends easily. There is a way to find help if I need it. And when something doesn’t quite feel right, I know how to get out of it.

Despite my peaceful life here at home, this country can’t give me that feeling of overwhelming culture shock. So I need to seek it out. If I stay in one spot for too long, I feel like a bird in a cage and I can’t handle it. So the only way to deal with it, is to pick a country that has some nice buildings to visit and buy tickets. I choose my adventures based on architecture, culture, language, religion, location and cost. The more different those first 4 things are from what I know here at home, the better.

Being alone or being a woman doesn’t make me a target when I’m travelling. But being an idiot will. If you’re open to different cultures and lifestyles, making new friends at every turn, it makes it difficult for trouble to find you. Being alone on the road doesn’t make you lonely. Being closed minded does.

24 more sleeps til I leave, and I can’t wait. I have no idea what 50+ degree (celcius) weather feels like. I have no idea what this next trip will entail, I have flights and accommodation booked but that’s about it. No need to create an itinerary, I’ll figure t out when I get there.

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