Culture Shock

Culture is a funny thing. It’s amazing how two people, almost exactly the same age, from similar situations financially, religiously, and family dynamic, can be so vastly different, based on where they grew up.

Lets look at a prime example: myself, born and raised in Seattle Washington, U.S.A. and Todd who we met in our D.C. hostel, born and raised in Melbourne Australia. At 20, and 21 years old, both in college, we shouldn’t be that different, right? WRONG. With only one more year of life under his belt than myself, Todd’s experiences couldn’t be any more opposite than my own. After chatting for two hours I learned a lot about a completely different way of life. Between a laid back life of travel, education, and support, Todd has such an open minded and trusting view of the world we live in. On a whim he came to the U.S. with two other friends to go where they want, see what they want, experience what they want, with no limitations… staying in the cheapest places they can find, to do everything they can. I look at how I plan trips… usually careful background checks of the area I’m staying in, planning each meal and day trip down to the penny, travel itineraries… etc. I raised to plan carefully and stick to my schedule. Todd on the other hand was raised in a culture where living to live is much more valued. This was only one of the many things we talked about last night.

That is one of the beautiful things about this trip, and this city. Not only do we get to experience a new American culture, but we get to interact with people from all around the world. Everything about this trip – the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, the experiences I’ve heard about about, have made me so excited to just get out into the world and begin adventuring more. I’m excited to really see what the world has to offer.

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  1. #1 by mpelham14 on January 21, 2013 - 3:17 am

    You’re very right Katherine. I think it’s insane to think of all the different cultures, more so than just Australia and how much different every single one of the thousand cultures in the world, truly are. Personally, I’m so close-minded in the US culture, that it almost shamefully keeps my worldview close-minded. I only think the US culture is the best way of life, but how do I know that? Scary thought is I don’t, and it’s most likely not. We were educated at such a young age, it was ingrained into our heads that EVERYBODY from every country wants to come to the United States to live here. That so-called fact is probably blown out of proportion and not true; would it be crazy to say an American like myself wants to do the opposite? Leave our supposed-best-nation-in-the-world to live in another country for a little while; see if we are that good. Not knowing is always a hopeless, scary feeling.

  2. #2 by romodara14 on January 23, 2013 - 12:34 am

    Katherine, I found this post really captivating because I am someone who is passionate about culture and how it separates us but also ties us together in unimaginable ways. Although, you are Todd were raised in completely different places, you both were able to find commonalities and relate to each other without the cultural difference as a barrier. That’s exciting to me. I think that culture makes us who we are and it should be embraced and accepted, but we should also understand other cultures and how they are relatable to our own, even when we don’t know much about them. Humanity is a culture that binds us together despite where we come from or what family we are born into.

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