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#472022 - 09/07/13 05:44 AM My Belize Culture Shock story and what I learnedAl
Marty Offline
All the cool expats say they never experience culture shock.

For the most part I think they are full of it.

Everyone who makes the radical change and moves away from their home country to a new country is going to experience something. For some people it is a very radical change. Other people will say they are not feeling well or are just tired. Everyone deals with it differently.

The Culture shock hit me after the fourth month. I was depressed and had no energy at all. I would cry for hours and not be able to stop. It was draining emotionally but in the end it was a gift.

I had to decide if I was willing to change the way I approached and reacted to things in Central America. If I could not change how I was conditioned to react to events I would not be able to be happy in Belize.

Culture Shock forces you to look at who you are and what you are willing to do to adapt to where you find yourself. It is a gift

Most US citizens seem to think the world is just like them. We assume everyone on the planet thinks and acts just like us. They often do not think or see the world as we do.

I had to learn to take things as they come. Then adapt my expectations and patience so I would not get furious when things did not go as I planed.

I had to decide that I could be happy in a little undeveloped country with no 24 hour fast food restaurants. No Pizza delivery. No great shopping choice or variety. No 24 hour convenience stores with everything you need including groceries on every corner. No all you can eat buffet places that are worth anything. No instant gratification in Belize….You wait and wait and wait.

If I required those things to be happy, clearly Belize was not for me.

I determined those things were not necessary for me to be happy.

Now I do miss shopping and choice. Good thing Belize is just a 3 hour flight to the USA.

I have heard and watched other expats. Culture Shock usually happens within the first six months but everyone is different. Sometimes culture shock will make a person change their mind about where they choose to live. Perhaps the changes are to much for the person to deal with.

This is one of the reasons I think everyone should visit where they want to live for at least six months before they buy property and ship an entire household to a small hot tropical country.

Take time to see if you can make the adjustments necessary to be happy before you invest a huge amount if money.

We make and choose the terms and conditions of our life. If you are not willing to make the changes necessary to be happy where you are, you have to choice to find another place that works for you.


#472380 - 09/12/13 09:32 AM Re: My Belize Culture Shock story and what I learnedAl [Re: Marty]
Tropical Offline
This is very well stated. Personally I think would-be ex-pat could be doing themselves a favor by living here, or anywhere outside of "home", for at least a year, but giving themselves 3 years would be best prior to calling it home. The honeymoon period in Belize can last a long time. It's charming, amazing, beautiful, and adventurous.


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