When you visit another country, you will realize that several things are different. Your instinct is to compare it with how things are back home. From the way people dress up to their food, you will notice differences. You might even feel slightly competitive and think that what you have at home is better. Despite how you feel, try to keep it inside. You can’t be too vocal about your observations. You may keep a diary, but don’t start arguing and sound offensive.
There’s always a reason behind cultures
Rich cultures are a good thing. There’s a reason behind why people do things a certain way. Some might interest you, while others won’t. Either way, you should concede that you won’t always agree on everything. Learn from these differences and enrich yourself. Even your actions and mannerisms have explanations. Imagine if someone insults you for doing things a certain way. If it hurts you, it will also do the same to others.
You want to be safe
When you say something offensive about another country’s culture, probably everyone in the room will be offended. Others will overreact and try to hit you because of what you said. It’s the last thing you want. You don’t know anyone in the area and no one can save you. It’s better to keep quiet and stay away from potential injuries.
You’re not in a position to argue
You don’t know much about other people’s cultures. It’s true especially if you only learned about them in books and it’s your first time to be there. You don’t have the right to tell people they’re wrong. Some of them have been practicing certain traditions for centuries. You can’t explain why you’re better and things have to change for them.
You’re traveling to learn
The goal of traveling is to learn about others. You’ve only exposed yourself to the same thing over and over again. It’s time that you open your mind into something new. You feel weird because you’re exposed for the first time. If you keep an open mind, you will eventually realize why things are the way they are. You will grow as a person when you let yourself immerse in these traditions.
No one tells you to adopt
When you travel, you observe and learn. You’re not there to change who you are and follow what others do. Unless you’re relocating and planning to stay there long-term, there’s no point in adjusting. Of course, when you visit religious sites, you must dress appropriately. If you’re invited to eat dishes you probably won’t like, just say no and thank you. You feel awkward because it feels like you’re being forced to follow new ways. Again, no one will force you to do anything. Take it easy and have fun.
Be respectful as a tourist. You want others to do the same to you if they visit your country. Stay away from places where you know everything will feel uncomfortable if that helps.
1st and featured image from https://theabroadguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/sightseer-371747_1280.jpg
2nd image from https://www.englishfirst.com/blog/teaching-in-indonesia/4-things-you-may-not-know-about-indonesian-culture/