Surreal is the best word to describe it.
. . .
So, I just spent Christmas in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and all I can say is: “Well, that was different!”.
At first, I didn’t know how to feel about not being home, but I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone (staying in a hostel definitely helped that).
I discovered that being abroad for Christmas is kinda surreal.
I won’t say that I didn’t get a little homesick (my brain kept telling me that it wasn’t normal, not to have snow for Christmas).
But, after the initial shock, it felt a little surreal to be able to say: “Merry Christmas!” while standing under a palm tree.
. . .
If you are planning to go abroad for the holidays, here’s what I learned during my experience:
At first, you will feel like you are missing out from your home traditions, but that’s why you need to learn as much as you can about these new traditions surrounding you.
Learning about these new traditions will help you notice all the similarities, and differences. The differences will make you want to celebrate this new & exciting holiday to learn more about it.
So, in conclusion, don’t think: “I miss my traditions.”.
Think: “Wow, this is interestingly and excitingly different!”.
And, remind yourself why you decided to travel abroad during this time of year!
Merry Christmas from Argentina!
I made it to Buenos Aires, Argentina!
. . .
My first 24 hours here were a whirlwind of emotions. I couldn’t believe that I was actually here (it seems too surreal). I was so happy that I finally made it!
But, after the initial feeling of amazement and happiness, the culture shock hit me.
I didn’t know what to feel or what to do.
I couldn’t remember why I wanted to come here in the first place.
I was afraid to speak Spanish to ask for directions, and as a result, I would get lost a lot.
I would shut down in the middle of the street, and basically cry because I didn’t know what I was doing or where I was going. (I felt lost and alone.)
In summary, my first 24 hours were filled with all the ups and downs of culture shock.
. . .
Now that I’ve been here for more than 48 hours, I am much more confident in my Spanish (I actually want to speak it), I know my way around the city much better now, and I’ve learned that it’s completely normal to feel culture shock.
So, my advice for anyone traveling to a completely new country (especially for the first time) is to know that culture shock is completely normal (even if it’s your millionth time traveling abroad).
Everyone will feel it differently, and every country will be a different type of shock because there’s always at least one thing that changes.
. . .
All that to say that, I am absolutely loving Argentina, my new found perspective on things, and I can’t wait to see what adventures the next 3 months hold.
. . .
Thanks for reading!
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(I promise, it will be more exciting than this one)!
And, click HERE to check out the video from my trip getting here!