Culture Shock, What?

It’s Gina again with another chapter in things to help prepare you for Japan Adventuring!

Culture shock. It’s something that every traveller of the globe, every individual who’s visited other countries has had to deal with. It’s the realization that suddenly you’ve been thrust into this foreign land with wildly different cultural expectations than the place you grew up in. “Exposure to an unfamiliar culture can be beneficial but also stressful and potentially harmful to sojourners or tourists. Unfamiliar environments may contribute to anxiety, confusion and depression in groups.” (Moufakkir 323) What might be seen as perfectly acceptable in one culture might be taken as a grievous insult in another. This is how things like cross-cultural miscommunications happen, and what one person sees as acceptable might not necessarily be acceptable to another.

“Culture shock was introduced to the literature by Oberg in the 1950s. It refers to a situation when a group of people entering a different culture encounter a feeling of confusion and experience disorientation” (Moufakkir 323)

In order to help ease the burden of culture shock, one needs to be as prepared as possible for the culture that they are stepping in to. This means that one needs to research cultural expectations before one goes, especially for cultures like Japan.

On the flip side of the coin, there is also the issue of “reverse culture shock” which the author of this blog post doesn’t belief is talked about enough. Essentially what this means is that if one spends enough time in a foreign culture, one gets used to it, and coming back to the culture that one grew up in can be just as much of a shock as moving to a foreign culture.

In order to get a glimpse into things that my or may not have crossed your mind while reading this, I’ve linked a youtube video from one of my favourite youtube channels: Abroad in Japan.

Enjoy!

Sources:

Real Name Unknown. [Abroad in Japan]. (2017, December 21). 12 things NOT to do in Japan [Video file] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GCuvcTI090

Moufakkir, Omar. (2013). Culture Shock, what shock? Conceptualizing culture unrest in intercultural tourism and assessing its effect on tourists’ perceptions and travel propensity. Tourist Studies. Volume 13 (Issue 3), pp 322-340 Accessed: http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.macewan.ca/doi/pdf/10.1177/1468797613498166

We’re Live!

Greetings fellow trailblazers! Welcome to the brand-spanking new Blaze-in’ The Trails! I couldn’t be more excited to show you all this new layout. I’ve spent most of the last week working on this site for a school project in Online Communications, but the course wasn’t what I thought it was, so I’ve dropped it. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this with enough time to get the money back for the course, but at least I’m not stuck with a failing grade or something, right? Haha.

I’m really pleased with this site. You’ve got links to all of my social media along the right hand side of the page, a new crisp and clean look, and something a little more functional and direct. At the top of the page, you’ve got a one-click stop to my blog and a link to a contact form that’ll go straight to my email!

I was doing a 9-part mini-series for Online Communications, and while this class isn’t a thing anymore, I think I’m going to continue with this. I like the idea of having an upload schedule every two weeks, even if it isn’t an overly long blog post, so bear with me.

Feel free to take a look around, let me know what you think. I’m interested to hear from you!

Keep on Blazin’ Those Trails, peeps!

Wander Lust

Mark Twain once said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” For me, these are words to live by. I want to get out there, see what’s in the world and forget the small minded person I once was. I want to make something of myself and learn more about this tiny space I inhabit. When you consider the facts about who you are and how big you actually are in the grand scheme of things, everything else tends to fall away. You feel insignificant. You feel humbled.

For years, I’ve been plagues by this “wander lust” that is nearly insatiable. I’ll get through with one trip and in almost no time at all, the yearnings to start another will spring right back up. Sometimes, it’s enough to drive me nuts, but the truth is that I’m not the only one. lately I’ve been joining groups on platforms like Facebook that are filled with people out there doing what I want to do. They have the same goal in life that I do. They leave the mundane behind in an effort to broaden their horizons and learn as much as they can, even if it’s not in the stereotypical culturally accepted fashion of a formal education. School is great and all, and while I’m enjoying it, I also realize that it’s not the only way to educate one’s self.

This is a huge step for me. I recently made the decision to leave the small me behind in an effort to grow. I scrapped the original blog that held this name, in all it’s disorganized fashion, in hopes of making a more professional image for myself; this site is the result. It cost me hours of incessantly going over every little detail, back and forth, until I was happy with every insignificant detail. It allows me to show a side of myself that I never before thought possible. From here, I take a step into the unknown and truly begin to Blaze the Trails of Life.

 

Inaugural Post of a New Trail to Blaze

The Old Blaze-in’ The Trails blog has been scrapped in its entirety. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. It was definitely a hard decision, considering I’d spent so much time posting content to it. Looking back, now that it’s been done, I think it was the right choice. The current incarnation of the blog will give me the ability to focus more on content, while allowing me to focus less on the back end of the website.

Among some of the changes, you’ll notice the sleek, new professional design. You’ll also notice widgets along the side of the page with windows to all my social media feeds, as well as links towards those social media feeds towards the top. Now you’ve got a one-stop shop for all of my feeds without actually leaving my little corner of the web, and it’s all found at one easy to remember URL: Blazewing.ca.

I can’t wait to show you, my loyal readers, what’s in store for the future. There are lots of exciting things coming!