Tag Archives: Latin America

On culture shock, or lack thereof

20 Mar

“Culture is a little like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a glassyou don’t see it, but somehow it does something.”

~ Hans Magnus Enzensberger

It’s been one month since I stepped off the plane at the infamous Toncontín airport. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed.

I received a lovely ‘letter of support’ from AFS Honduras yesterday, which was filled with words of encouragement and advice about how to work through homesickness and culture shock.

This made me realize that I haven’t actually experienced any culture shock yet. In fact, I’ve settled into life here with an almost surprising ease.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lived and travelled in Latin American countries before or because I’m now older (confirmed) and wiser (debatable), but culture shock hasn’t been an issue. I’m happy to be here and excited to be learning about the Honduran way of life.

I think the hardest thing to deal with has been the lack of freedom caused by the insecurity. I’m used to being able to come and go where I please, when I please.

Not being able to go for a walk or pop down to the local shops on my own can make things feel a little suffocating, but my host mum has been brilliant at looking for ways for me to get out and about safely.

Apart from that minor adjustment, I can’t say there’s been anything that I’ve come across yet that’s really floored me. In fact, until I read the AFS letter I had actually forgotten that culture shock was often part and parcel of the travel experience.

Maybe I’m being too blasé and in a couple of weeks’ time I’ll have a delayed culture shock-induced breakdown. But for now, todo bien, todo tranquilo.

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