Sunday, February 26, 2012

Is culture shock the down side of travelling?

After a 27 hour journey that included a 13 hour stop over in Jo'burg, I have finally arrived in Ghana. 

The first day was admittedly quite a shock to the system. While I knew in my head that Accra would be completely different to the sleepy town that I currently live in, I felt completely out of of my comfort zone and out of my depth. I had also forgotten about the what it is like to travel on your own and in particular, what it is like to be in a place where you know no one.   

While these feelings were very real, I was very annoyed with myself that because I had worked so hard to save up enough so that I'd could spend my annual leave doing something useful and learning something about a country that was far away. 

So, what's so bad about culture shock? why do I keep on putting myself in these situations when it was so confronting and uncomfortable?

Someone once said that the only time you grow a s a person is when you are outside of your comfort zone and you are surrounded by everything that is unfamiliar. 

Maybe this is why I choose to spend my holidays from work in a country that is so different to my own, so I may appreciate everything that is good about my life, learn from those who live differently to me and gain perspective on the world that I live in. 

So maybe culture shock is not the down side of travelling but an important part of a really rewarding process. 

I keep on telling myself that I will soon find my feet and that the feelings of culture shock will soon subside and, like previous trips aboard, will have an experience that I'll never forget for the rest of my life.               

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