Knowing how to overcome cultural differences is an incredible skill. But, you may often have experiences where you just don’t connect with locals while traveling. Perhaps they seem too forward in wanting to hang out with you, or they use a word that doesn’t imply exactly what they mean when talking to you, regardless of the language!
If you have ever been surprised at the behavior of others while traveling, you’re not alone! Learning and navigating cultural differences while traveling is like learning the grammar of a new language. Even though you can learn all these rules and exceptions, it’s incredibly fluid and nuanced! It’s hard to really understand all these nuances unless you’re a long-term resident or academic.
Being able to overcome cultural differences is one of the most difficult BUT also most marketable skills you can learn while traveling! Whether you’re trying to visit your first country or you’ve already been to dozens, communicating with people who bring different assumptions to the table is not easy.
In these cases, you can use other strategies to help you interact smoothly with locals! Effectively communicating with the travelers and locals you meet not only gives you a more fulfilling travel experience, it also shows you a different side of the place you visit! Instead of always feeling like an outsider, you can fit in more with your local friends and understand the nuances of what they do.
This video includes these topics to help you overcome cultural differences:
-The differences between knowing and experiencing cultural differences
-Why you can’t just ask people what they think are the cultural differences
-Situations where cultural differences are common!
-What to do when you have no idea at all what to do
-Talking about topics you don’t want to talk about
-How language plays into the cultural barrier
-Examples of cultural differences I’ve experienced
My discussion question: What are your favorite tips to overcome cultural differences while traveling?
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