07 Feb How to cope with culture shock on a trip to Asia
Asia is one of the most intriguing continents in the world, as it developed in a way profoundly different than many nations in the west and elsewhere on Earth. Unfortunately, this also means that it can be rather difficult to adjust to life here as an expat.
If you are struggling to adapt after being placed in an Asian country as a representative of your company, then this blog post is for you.
Accept that you are having a tough time adjusting
The path towards resolving your culture shock is accepting that you are experiencing it in the first place. Once you do this, you can take steps to ease your transition to wherever you have been posted, be it Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Singapore.
One way you can make things easier on yourself is to get a corporate serviced apartment. When you have calm surroundings with amenities designed to help you relax after a tough day, you can focus on processing everything you dealt with earlier.
In this way, you’ll be able to leave your corporate apartment the next morning, ready to connect with the local culture in a better way than you managed the day before.
Keep an open mind
If you expect to live the same life in Asia that you do at home, you’ll be in for a rude awakening. People here have learned to do things in a way markedly different from how we do them in the West, and they aren’t going to bend to your will just because you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Instead, do your best to understand things from proper table manners to etiquette in the workplace, apologize when you mess up, and get better over time.
When you allow the negative aspects of your new overseas existence to drag you down, it’s easy to see anywhere as the worst place in the world. On the other hand, if you focus on the things you are grateful for in your life, like that tasty bowl of curry noodles you just had for lunch, you tap the well of happiness within you.
This crowds out negativity, making it nearly impossible for it to take root. Negativity is only useful when it comes to defining a problem. Once you know what’s wrong, take action to solve the problem and leave the original negative thought in the past where it belongs.
Connect regularly with friends and family back home
Solving culture shock doesn’t mean you have to section yourself off from your family and friends. The beautiful thing about our modern age is that we can log into Skype or Facetime from anywhere in the world and not only speak with our loved ones, but see their faces as well.
The psychological boost you’ll get from re-connecting with them on a regular basis will make it easier to work through your problems in your new home in Asia, so be sure to make regular contact with them.