Tag Archives: culture-shock

Culture shock: 6 travel moments all adventurers will relate to

Travelling is perhaps one of life’s greatest treasures; from visiting new and breath-taking lands, to meeting different people and diving headfirst into cultures so unlike your own, to the tantalising food and overall life-changing experiences that are bound to happen when you leave behind comfort and familiarity.

Anyone who has ever travelled will have no hesitation in sharing that while travel is fun and exciting, it is equally confronting and eye-opening to discover that while we are one human race, our cultures can vary dramatically. Here at Inspired, we all are avid lovers of travel, so we’ve rounded up some of our best culture shock stories for your enjoyment!

"I really hate condoms in my food"


Biggest culture shock?
“I lived in Spain for a year and probably one of the most embarrassing and funny culture shocks I experienced was getting the hang of the language. Once I tried to say, “I really hate preservatives in my food” because I thought the word preservativos meant preservatives. Turns out it actually means condoms so I said to everyone, “I really hate condoms in my food.” Oops!” – Angie

Blog Angie Hwang

What's a helmet?


Biggest culture shock?
“I was working on a sailboat in Sicily for two months and each morning I’d ride on the back of my host’s motorbike to get to the boat. He refused to let me wear a helmet and pretty much everybody in Sicily has the same motto! That was a big shock for me because literally every morning I’d fear for my life. We also had to carry all the food with us for the day so I’d just be sitting on the back holding onto huge watermelons and pasta. A very strange site but it was a lot of fun!” – Laura

Smiles not allowed


Biggest culture shock? 
“As a child who grew up in developing countries like Africa and Thailand, my biggest culture shock was actually when I went to London. Everyone seemed so grumpy all the time! You couldn’t smile at people on the tube because they’d give you the dirtiest look back. London basically just has really unique etiquette rules but once you figure them out, it’s one of the best places to live.” – Charlie

A holy experience


Biggest culture shock?
“Biggest culture shock for me was visiting the famous Ganges in Varanasi and witnessing the burning bodies of the Ghats. I’d never seen a dead body before, never mind a burning one. I was both appalled and enthralled all in one. The whole religious experience was nothing short of fascinating!” – Lexi

Living on "African time"


Biggest culture shock? 
“I went to Kenya to volunteer at four different schools in rural areas where I taught the kids different sports. The biggest culture shock for me was the conditions of the schools. I understood it would be basic, but I was shocked as some of them were just four walls with a roof. Also, the kid’s uniforms were torn into pieces and all in the wrong size, and 80 per cent of them didn’t have shoes! “African time” was also interesting – everything was always running late. But people didn’t get upset or anything, they knew they would eventually arrive and everything would be fine. A bit scary when you need to get to the airport though!” – Jo

Blog Johanna Bearder

So...where's the toilet?


Biggest culture shock?
“There were a few culture shocks in Cambodia but personally, the biggest one was the squat toilets! I’m a hygiene nut and have never been very confident using anything other than a western toilet so having to use squat style toilets was a big one for me. However, I overcame the fear and am now a confident squatter! #toomuchinfo ?” – Ally

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