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How To Combat Culture Shock

By Edited Jun 12, 2014 0 0

So now you have made the big move, you've retired early, you have followed your dream and moved overseas. You are in your new home, the waves are lapping at your doorstep, and the warm breezes are filling the air with the sweet scent of freedom. Only problem is... you are not happy! David Byrne is echoing in your head as you say over and over again: "OH MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE!"

The term, culture shock, describes all the anxieties and surface when a person moves to a completely new environment. It is completely natural to feel this way. You may not know what to do, you may feel panic and fear and dismay, or you may feel like you lack direction. Whether these feelings come with in the first few weeks of your arrival to your new country, or later down the line, always remember that it is normal and there are things you can do to fight it.

What are some of these ways in which you can combat the obstacle of culture? Try to remain active in your new home. Walking, running, jumping, whatever you prefer, just stay active. Just because you have retired abroad early doesn't mean you have retired from life. There is nothing like a walk on the beach when you feel loneliness taking a hold of you. You can allow yourself to feel sad about what you have left behind. There is nothing wrong with that. Although once you have let out the sadness, strive to accept the new environment and make the most of it. Keep your mind occupied with challenges and exploring new things. There are plenty of people in your new home you can talk to. This may require learning a new language, which will keep your mind active helping you greatly.

Your friends and family are only a phone call away, so you have not lost all ties with the rest of the world. Maintain confidence in yourself. You can do this. And if, in the end, everything is too much to handle, it may be best to pack up and go back, or even try a new country. Life is too short to be unhappy. Give it your best shot. You will never regret trying.

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