‘Expat Syndrome’ is a condition whereby many expatriates
see mostly either the best of their own nationality and
the worst of the locals or see the opposite.
Expat Syndrome. It’s a condition that can take hold wherever you travel. But, it can be worse with those who move to another country. Are you the person who only wants to speak your own language and hang out with other people from your country? Or are you the person who wants to learn the language of the country you’re living in? Do you want to go out to eat at the same places or participate in the same events that the locals do? Are you the person who negatively compares everything you see to what you have at home? Stop It!
I think your decision in this area defines the type of person you are. And while I don’t want to be harsh here, I think it’s going to be harsh. Either you are the type of person who sees all of humanity as just that. Or you are the type of person who sees yourself as superior to others or even afraid of others. In either of these two cases, you see yourself as different or separate from everyone else in the rest of the world.
This can even be seen while you’re traveling around your own country. Each region or state has their own culture that might be different than yours. Do you just show up, take some pictures, go to the theme park or the theater, eat at the restaurant designed for tourists and then leave? Or do you stay awhile? Do you try to find a restaurant or diner that locals eat at? Do you start talking to people to find out what they like about their area, find out where they go on a day off, look at pictures of their kids and have a laugh?
Wherever we travel, my husband and I try to always eat breakfast at a local diner. The one where people who live in town want to eat at. And while we’re there, we start chatting with the other patrons. Find out what they do and where they like to go in town. It really changes how you experience the area. It takes you out of the tourist traps and introduces you to the local culture. Try it.
What are some tips that you have for experiencing the local culture? Please share your tips below.