Expat Advice: Culture Shock in
Aug 15, 2016
A Canadian expat who moved to Negril, Jamaica found driving to be the most challenging part of moving to Jamaica. Waiting on others was a big issues at first, but eventually he adjusted and appreciated the laid back lifestyle in Jamaica.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
Moving to Jamaica soon?
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Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
Not much of a shock
Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?
Yes I did for sure..these phases I went each time I went back...but because of all these phases this made me make up my mind this was the country I really needed to live in!
What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.
I think homesickness was the first symptom I experienced. But after traveling back and forth a few times I soon became homesick for Jamaica. Frustration was the other symptom I really experienced. Driving and the sense of freedom happened to me...depending on taxi service and others for getting around.. drive me absolutely crazy. Waiting on others was really a big issue for me but of course after a few visits back and forth I soon realized this was something I actually missed!
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
The things I most appreciate are the people for sure!! There attitude totally different from here they are more laid back than Canadians. They take time out to enjoy the little things in life! The music is another thing that falls into the top 5!
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Driving is the most challenging aspect of this new culture, because of the bad roads and driving on the opposite side of the road is definitely a challenge! Health care is another concern of mine, but for now I'm not letting that stop me from living my dream!
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
I think giving yourself the time to adjust is definitely the key to success in this situation. It didn't take long for me to adjust. You just have to sit back and enjoy. Have patience and soak it all in !!:) Moving to another country is a big adjustment, but for me I definitely am happy I decided to move!
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