Just like any new relationship, the wanderlust of travel will begin with its "honeymoon" phase. Stepping foot in uncharted territory, embracing change, tasting the culture... It's all so new! But after taking extended trips, it's common for the excitement to fade (the same timeline as the 6 month point in a relationship). The reality of the post-honeymoon phase makes it difficult to keep a fresh, positive mind from slipping downhill.
After sitting in with culture guru, Andy Gavilanes, his wisdom summarized culture shock into stages, allowing an easier reflective state before finding your inner "buddha" after returning from the trip of a lifetime.
1.) Honeymoon Phase - The initial excitement of something new.
2.) Culture Shock - Realizing unwanted realities. Effected emotions: short temper, complaining, crying, drugs and alcohol, anxiety.
3.) Acceptance of Position.
4.) Humor Phase - Laughing at what once caused anger.
5.) Breaking the Routine - Unlocking your mind again. Taking a different way to work, saying yes to weekend excursions, being unafraid of getting back out and exploring.
6.) Awareness - Of yourself and being curious of others without judgment.
7.) Finding Your High - Time to fly.
When traveling abroad (especially solo), taking the time to self-reflect and understand more about who you are and who you want to become is one of the most gratifying experiences you can walk away with.
edited by: Lauren Mee