You’ve been lucky enough to venture off into a new culture, and experience that culture with such depth that your home has become a distant memory. Without even realizing it, your life has changed drastically. You’ve become accustomed to this new environment and all the social norms that come with it. That is until you return home. You step off that plane, and hardly anything has changed around you, yet everything has changed for yourself. People can’t see these changes on you; your clothes might be different, and hair might be longer, but these changes are within you and are not easily explainable, let alone identifiable. It is painfully lonely and isolating. The experiences you’ve had come crashing down on you as you try to shift back to your old routine in your home culture. This, is culture shock. I believe its harder coming home than it is going to a live in a new culture. When you travel to somewhere foreign, you’re expecting to feel like an outsider, to feel out of place and know that you are going to need to work to fit in and get used to the lifestyle. When you return home, you are expecting to feel comfort, ease and welcome; yet sometimes, you end up feeling like an outsider in a place that you’ve lived the majority of your life. And that, is unimaginably difficult. Continue reading “Culture Shock”
1. Everybody, including students, reads the newspaper. Everyone is involved in politics – not just political science majors. People know what is happening in the country, in the EU and internationally. It would be common to go to a bar and get into a debate with someone about a political issue. Politics and intellect are welcomed and admired. I’m not surprised by the incredible response to the shooting in Paris with the Je Suis Charlie movement. It’s a perfect display of how each citizen is involved with their country and is equally proud of it.
As soon as I return home from a trip the inevitable travel bug scratches its itchy claws at me to book that next adventure. I can’t sit still. I spend hours reading guidebooks and scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration. Despite not being over the jet lag from my past adventure or even having unpacked my bags, I’m already desperately looking for where I can go next. The fact is that I’m beyond broke, have an overloaded university schedule, volunteer commitments, a job, hobbies, and sometimes (occasionally) I even go to the gym. I’m outrageously busy trying to balance life and all I can think about is paying off my visa and booking my next flight. Go figure. Continue reading “Aaaaaand I’m back!!”
After living in Lyon, France for four months it was time for me to head back to Canada. My family was under the impression that I would be coming home after the New Year, I had told them that I wanted to spend New Years Eve in Europe so I wouldn’t be making it home for Christmas. In reality, I had booked a flight to … Continue reading How I Surprised My Family For Christmas!
The first two weeks in a new place are the most difficult, especially when you’ve moved halfway across the world to a country where they speak a language that is not your first and have widely different customs and cultures that aren’t similar to your own. I’ve written a few blog post about how to deal with the stress: [http://goo.gl/5rm89M] and what it’s really like living in a foreign country: [http://goo.gl/F28y9k] but this particular post is going to be directed towards those daunting first two weeks – what you need to do and how you survive them.
I’ve never been good at keeping my mouth closed and saying things I shouldn’t, so here it is, one of the most outrageous and entertaining days of my life without sparing any details or dignity. I am going to channel my inner Jenny Mollen and I hope you enjoy. Continue reading “The most outrageous 24 hour period of my life”
Packing for a semester or year abroad might seem daunting, but the more you prepare for it and the more in advance you start- the better. I started packing for my semester abroad a month before I left. A little aggressive? Yeah.. probably. But it gave me enough time to stay organized and to know exactly what I’d need and what I wouldn’t. I was also extremely excited so I wanted to start packing straight away. If I didn’t need to wear the clothes I’d be packing then I would have started packing the minute I got accepted into the program! Continue reading “What to Pack For A Semester/Year Abroad”
I’ve travelled to 19 different countries for a number of different kinds of trips, consequently I have picked up on a number of great packing tips and tricks. I’ve finally learnt how to master packing light, which is huge for me because I’m typically the girl who always overpacks and still never seems to have everything she needs. I’ll be spending the next four days in Amsterdam (late November = colder weather) and I’ve managed to pack it all in a small backpack and a hand bag. Continue reading “Packing Tips and Tricks”
Most people have this idea that travelling is an easy peasy lemon squeezy walk in the park where you get to lounge on beaches, drink cocktails and flirt with foreigners. (And hey, sometimes that’s the case). But most of them time it entails waiting in lines for hours, getting lost (often), getting your things stolen (or losing them yourself), running low on funds, waking up multiple times a night from loud hostel roommates, frustrating cancelations and delays, missing trains/planes/buses, attempting to sleep in awfully Continue reading “20 Ways To Stay Positive When You’re Travelling, Broke and Stressed-Out”