Why Conquering Culture Shock Makes You a Better Blogger

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  June 2, 2021 blogging tips 🕑 5 minutes read
El Valle de Anton Panama

El Valle de Anton Panama

 

I read this helpful post from Melvin at Travel Dudes:

 

Reasons Why Experiencing Culture Shock While Traveling Will Eventually Benefit You

 

He clearly explains why wading through the experience of culture shock benefits you down the road. Being a 10 year world traveler, I heartily agree.

 

Culture shock is:

 

  • fear
  • discomfort
  • unpleasant-feeling emotions

 

triggered in your mind when experiencing cultures in foreign lands (or even closer places) while traveling.

 

Ubud, Bali.

 

For example, in the United States (New Jersey in particular) I am used to service employees keeping their word. If an internet repairman says he will be at the house at 10 AM on Tuesday to fix the router he will be there at 10 AM on Tuesday to fix the router or else the company he works for begins to lose their reputation and if the business gets bitched out enough online and offline, the business goes out of business, fast. Of course, he gets fired after missing a few appointments.

 

4 months ago in Pedasi, Panama, the internet repairman said he’d arrive in early February to fix the router. But after promising 6 times to fix the router and not showing up we never saw the dude and the router did not get fixed. I called him “No way Jose” because after not showing up the first time I knew he’d never show up for our 3 month house sit. I found it funny, amusing and laughable because I have 11 years’ worth of experience learning of different cultures. New travelers to Panama would call the utter dearth of service-based skills “culture shock”.

 

Nizwa, Oman.

 

In the USA, customers bitch and moan and usually get their way because they are always right. In a face-saving culture like Thailand, complaining customers get ignored completely because you never, ever shame a person in a public setting for any reason. Culture shock.

 

In the USA, giving someone the finger while driving is an American past time since we say and do what we please as a core freedom. In face-saving Thailand, flipping someone off while driving may get you shot. Culture shock.

 

In rural Vietnam, we waited about 2 hours after the departure time inside of a bus simply because the drivers were waiting for more fares to make more money. Drivers walked inside of a restaurant, enjoyed a leisurely lunch and napped as the 2 hours passed. Culture shock.

 

Buena Vista, Costa Rica.

 

In Kathmandu, Nepal, an alleged tour guide guaranteed us 1, 2 then 3 times that he would give us a free tour and not ask for money or anything in return, even after we told him explicitly – 3 times – that we did not want a tour and would give him nothing in return. After he followed us around like a stalker, adding little to no commentary for 20 minutes, he demanded that we buy powdered milk and food for his starving family (he was a well-dressed man) and cursed us out when we refused politely and walked away. Culture shock.

 

How Mastering Culture Shock Makes You a Better Blogger

 

  • learn how to face, feel and release fear
  • learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • spot similarities in humanity amid the appearance of differences
  • be compassionate
  • be empathetic

 

Pondicherry, India

Pondicherry, India

 

Learning how to conquer fear and uncomfortable emotions makes you a better blogger because all:

 

 

sits beyond your fears, outside of your comfort zone. Overcoming culture shock makes blogging-related fears quite easy to overcome; traffic and profits and business flow to you seamlessly as you conquer these fears.

 

Do I fear doing uncomfortable blogging things? Nope. I experienced a fun but uncomfortable get-together in a remote jungle in Costa Rica. I had fun connecting with locals and even sampled local fare but the experience felt highly uncomfortable, too. Save one person who spoke broken English, 30 people spoke rapid-fire Spanish. I speak semi-fluent Spanish but this was still uncomfortable for me. Virtually all folks were indigenous, offering a far different feel-vibe than Ticos in San Jose, the capital city.

 

El Valle de Anton Panama

El Valle de Anton Panama

 

Hugging culture shock instills compassion in you. Everyone Panamanian here wears masks virtually everywhere, including in the jungle, with no humans around. Seeing through the filter of compassion, I understand the mass fear of past political turbulence here, and its emotional residue.

 

Versus not understanding a seeming sheeple culture, I see their fear through compassion, dissolving culture shock into peaceful understanding.

 

Homebody Bloggers: A Different Experience

 

Imagine if you never travel abroad. Your biggest fears sitting firmly inside of your comfort zone in your hometown with your set routine, living in your comfortable, predictable culture, are likely:

 

  • waiting on line at the gas station
  • encountering a surly cashier at the grocery store
  • worrying that the delivery boy won’t drop the newspaper in your driveway

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

When everyone largely:

 

  • looks like you
  • speaks like you
  • thinks like you
  • feels like you
  • acts like you

 

in your native, comfortable, predictable culture. You will never experience dramatic culture shock and its most delicious benefit of triggering:

 

  • self-conscious fears
  • fears of criticism
  • fears of failure
  • fears concerning not being understood
  • fears concerning being different

 

that you generally face, feel and release in order to become a thriving, professional blogger.

 

The Souq, Nizwa, Oman.

The Souq, Nizwa, Oman.

 

Bloggers who never travel conquer these fears, go pro and largely enjoy the ride, too. One need not travel to succeed online. However, world traveling bloggers who leave their comfort zone more quickly conquer their fears more quickly and tend to become better bloggers more quickly, too.

 

No blogger needs to travel. Some bloggers will experience their greatest success in their home town, embracing their native culture. I am writing this post to help traveling bloggers benefit from hugging culture shock and to present open-minded bloggers with an invitation to travel internationally.

 

Every blogger takes a different journey.

 

We all walk a different blogging path.

 

Resources

 

  1. Lisa Sicard says:
    at 1:27 pm

    Hi Ryan, it is amazing once you get out of your area how different people are in different parts of the US as well and around the world.

    We did some international travel before the pandemic and it was such an eye-opening experience. Not only did people talk and dress differently but their values were totally different. Amsterdam was a complete cultural shock and I wish we had spent more than a day there. 🙂

    We just met someone today in our new area and they are so much more laid back than 300 miles south of here. It truly is amazing. I think sometimes nature has something to do with the culture as well.

    Busy cities are also busy and everyone hustling whereas on the beaches and mountains things move much at a slower pace. I’m loving the mountains now. I used to always be in such a hurry!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:23 pm

      Again and again Lisa, when I visited spots like here in the mountains of rural Panama, I see how chill locals are and I kick more of the panicked, frenzied, frenetic hurry I grew up in being located in Northern New Jersey. Until I traveled abroad I did not realize how much I hurried, rushed and flat out panicked when things did not appear to move fast enough for me. Lesson learned. Enjoy your peaceful living in nature.

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