If you have ever traveled out of your country or city, you will notice that a lot of things are different.
The culture of the place you go to may differ greatly from your own and the same is true for moving to Thailand.
Bangkok is a beautiful city with many attractions and many sights, but you may find yourself having a hard time after a while. This would probably be due to culture shock.
Culture shock is the “surprise” that one gets after being in a culture after a while. Think of moving offices for example.
The atmosphere may be more laid back in your new office and you may find yourself frustrated because of all the free time you have or vice versa.
When you move into a new country and/or culture, there are several things that happen in stages. The first stage is excitement.
You are happy to be in the new country and everything is new and wonderful. You are happy with the people, the meals, service… everything you can think of.
Even if you get a bit of a bad experience, you don’t mind since you only see the best of the country.
After that comes the depression. The excitement wears off and you start noticing the differences between what you are used to and what is going on around you.
You find it hard to communicate, you cannot understand things and you begin to feel frustrated and homesick. This is normal for every traveler who has to stay in a place for a while.
This stage is the last one before the acceptance of the new culture. The sooner you can get to acceptance, the better for you in the long run.
There is a simple way to get past this stage quickly – be prepared. Being prepared doesn’t necessarily mean packing enough clothes or sunscreen and knowing where you will be staying (although it is VERY important that you know this) but also being prepared for the culture you will face.
It means doing research on Thailand and finding out what you may run into and prepare for it in advance. Here are a few ways you can do that:
Learn the Language – Not everyone in Thailand can speak your language. If you did not learn any before your trip, try to pick some up as you go. A little can go a very long way. Learn the words for greetings, emergency situations and numbers first. That may be the most helpful information you need.
Test the Cuisine – If you can, go to a Thai restaurant in your area and try out the cuisine. It may be what you will be eating for the duration of your stay. Discover what you will probably be expecting when you get there and be prepared for it. This will be very helpful for the restaurants.
Research – Good research will give you a rough idea of what you will find in Thailand. You can see the attractions, the prices and the exchange rates online. Look at the area you will be staying in and keep in touch with your Thai contact for more information.
Most of all, remember to have fun. Thailand may not be the place you have been used to and the culture and society may be unfamiliar and seem scary at first, but it is a place you will come to love.