We all have different preferences when it comes to weather. Some people like it to always be warm and dry, while others feel much more comfortable when it’s cold outside. If you’re the former, you’ll probably love these perpetual sunny destinations.
Hawaii is a pretty obvious choice if you like the sun, but why wouldn’t you want to go here? While it does experience rain from time to time, it’s never for very long. The rest of the time the sun’s shining down on the white sand beaches and crystal waters, leaving you with temperatures potentially as high as 85°F!
It shouldn’t be surprising that Africa is a great continent to visit if you’re interested in perpetual summer weather. Egypt, in particular, is an excellent choice because there are so many amazing sights to see there. You can marvel at the pyramids or enjoy a ride along the Nile while experiencing up to 90°F heat.
Given its proximity to the Equator, Thailand makes the perfect choice for a warm vacation. It feels like it’s summer there most of the year thanks to average temperatures of 84°F. Of course, what’s heat without a sun to enjoy? Thankfully, the country gets plenty of that while you dip your toe in its cultural wonders.
While sun and heat usually go hand in hand, not everyone wants to feel like they’re burning under the sunshine. Fortunately, Cape Verde offers more modest temperatures while still providing hours of light. It’s the vast coastline that makes all the difference, providing a refreshing breeze that keeps temperatures around 77°F.
If you hate the chill of winter, or you simply want a summer that promises more sunshine than you get at home, you’re never short of places to go. Just remember to pack plenty of sunscreen.
40+ People Share Times They Experienced Culture Shock and It’s Fascinating
When you’re traveling, you’re bound to have a moment of culture shock here or there. It’s a sign that you’re experiencing something new that diverts from what you’ve always known. These people had the chance to travel somewhere they’d never been before and took some time to share some moments that left them with a moment of culture shock.
You Do This?
Nothing can create a distinction amongst cultures more than looking into their culinary habits. There are some foods that can shock people who haven’t grown up with those snacks around.
When this person was living with a roommate from Australia, they decided to go out to dinner together. That’s when they introduced their roommate to mozzarella sticks. The roommate was blown away to see that a common American dish was deep-fried cheese! To be fair, it sounds different phrased that way.
Card Over Cash
This person had grown up in Tokyo, Japan before they moved to the United States. On their way to school one day, they experienced culture shock in a mildly threatening way.
They were carrying most of their money on them, in cash. They didn’t think much of it because they used cash much more in Japan. Now in the U.S., the cashier warned them that carrying that much cash around was a dangerous prospect if people knew.
What a Waste
This person experienced a moment of culture shock that was kind of sad. It happened when they were visiting the U.S. while they were permanently living in Europe.
When they stopped by their first American grocery store, they were taken aback by all the food. More specifically, they were taken aback by all the food that was wasted in a grocery store in the U.S. On the other hand, they were surprised at the lack of small talk when they got back.
Romance in Different Cultures
In every culture, there are beautiful stories of romance. However, there are major differences between what’s considered romantic and what’s publicly appropriate.
Living in a more conservative country in Asia, this person explained that PDA wasn’t something they witnessed much. Even when they did, it was often as innocent as hand-holding. When they visited France, though, they experienced culture shock in seeing frequent and unapologetic PDA wherever they went. It’s interesting to see these types of differences between cultures!
Funnier Than You Think
When you type “kk” in the U.S. in a text, you probably mean something along the line of “okay.” That isn’t a universal rule, though, and those letters together have different meanings.
While this person was joking around with their friends, they were confused by this reply to all their jokes. For a long time, they just figured that they weren’t as funny as they thought. It wasn’t until months later that they experienced culture shock learning that “kk” was intended as laughter.
Something for Everyone
Having family in another country is a great way to ensure that you have the chance not only to travel but to have someone intimate with the area show you around.
When this person hosted their cousin when she was visiting from Nigeria, culture shock came from an unexpected place. She was particularly surprised to learn that there were whole stores in the U.S. dedicated to pets and products for them. This boiled down to cultural views on certain animals which varies widely.
It Takes a Village
Since children are the next generation of a culture, it’s interesting to look at cultural differences in how children are raised. This can be a culture shock for parents as well as kids.
This person was raised in a Southeast Asian country. They shared that growing up here, they saw a much more community-based approach to parenting. Once they were in the United States, they realized that parenting here was much more individualistic and there was a sense of taking care of oneself first.
Birds of a Feather
In some parts of the world, birds can come and go where they please like anyone else. In some cultures, birds indoors are considered a nuisance or even a sign of bad luck.
When this person from Canada went to work in New Zealand, they were caught off guard. Even at the airport they arrived at, birds were inside everywhere. This turned out to be a culture shock for the Canadian person who wasn’t quite used to the sight everyone else regarded as normal.
Drawn to Scale
When you go somewhere new, it makes sense that you’d be surprised by how things look. After all, you’ve never been there before, so there are surely a few surprises in store.
Depending on where you go, even your first glance at a place could prove to cause culture shock. When this Dutch Reddit user was visiting Canada, they were immediately shocked by the size of everything. From cities to roads and even individual restaurants, everything seemed bigger in Canada.
Safe as Houses
In the United States, there’s a fairly frequent reminder that theft isn’t uncommon. In other words, lock your doors and make sure not to leave your bags unattended.
That’s why this Reddit user felt culture shock when they went to Japan. They noticed that the people around them were often leaving their bags when they had to go somewhere but would be right back. They said the lack of fear of their things being stolen, they felt much safer.
Sharing the Street
You’re probably the most vulnerable to culture shock after a long trip to somewhere. After all, if you’re tired or worn out, an unfamiliar sight is more likely to startle you.
When this Reddit user was 15, they went on a trip to Thailand. They experienced culture shock in their first hour in the country after being up for about 38 hours straight. While they were on their way to where they were staying, they noticed an elephant out of the window of the car!
Just Hop In
There’s nothing quite like seeing how it’s common for people to get around in other cultures. Are personal-use cars common or do people prefer public transport or a greener way to get around?
When this person went to the U.S., they noted the culture shock that they felt when they saw everyone has a car. On top of that, they tend to use them to go everywhere. On the other hand, this common use also made things like car accidents pretty frequent from what they saw.
Just Pointing it Out
There are times when you’re caught off guard by large differences between cultures. Oftentimes, though, culture shock can find you in subtle ways that show you differences in the world.
This person was visiting Malaysia when they noticed one of these small differences. They noticed that everyone they met in Malaysia didn’t point with their index finger but rather their thumb. It was a mild difference but noticeable enough that it caught them off guard and reminded them they were somewhere new.
Shifts in Shopping
Grocery shopping with someone is a great way to see the differences in cultures. This is especially true when it comes to the culture surrounding different income levels.
This person was used to shopping with an income that a lot of people are familiar with. When they went shopping with their more affluent roommate, they saw a major difference. The whole time they shopped, she never took out a coupon, loyalty card, or even paid much attention to prices.
Differences between places aren’t always demonstrated in how architecture is designed. Between the U.S. and Europe, this person experienced culture shock about door designs.
They pointed out that, living in Europe, they were used to seeing door handles. So, they were shocked to see doorknobs everywhere in the U.S. They pointed out a few good points too! If your hands are full or if they’re slippery with lotion, how are you supposed to open the door?
Selling Out Fast
If there’s one thing you can use to see differences between cultures, it’s shopping habits. What does someone in the UK buy plenty of that would shock the average American shopper?
This person was shocked when they visited the UK to see how stores were set up. More specifically, they were shocked to see whole aisles dedicated to baked beans, which is something that obviously is more of a staple there than in their home country.
Respecting Foot Traffic
While it’s easy to forget, the laws and related behavior change from culture to culture. This can lead to quite a moment of culture shock if you’re caught off guard by the results.
This person was clearly more familiar with a culture where pedestrians wait patiently for their chance to cross the street. Once they were in New Zealand, they noticed that when they got near a crosswalk, drivers stopped to let them cross. How convenient when you need to get around!
Wait for Everyone
Every culture has certain rules or expected behaviors around food. After all, mealtimes can serve as an important moment of connection for those eating together.
As someone who didn’t grow up with a consistent food source, this Reddit user shared that they often ate as soon as their food got to the table. They were surprised and had a moment of culture shock when they starting eating before everyone else had their food. Oftentimes, it’s considered rude not to wait.
Settle for a Kettle
In so many countries around the world, people would agree that one simply can not live without having an electric kettle in their kitchen. After all, it is a quickfire way to boil some water for all sorts of purposes, most notably for hot drinks!
And yet, this Reddit user shocked the world when they claimed that a lot of Americans don’t actually have electric kettles at home. Part of it is because other countries have higher voltages at home.
Catching Your Attention
There are plenty of shows and movies that reach international acclaim. However, individual programming can often throw people for a loop when they’re somewhere new.
For this person, it wasn’t even the show itself that gave them a moment of culture shock. They were clicking around channels on TV one day when they were in France, away from their home in California. A shampoo commercial came on and, unlike in California, there was just a topless actress in the scene!
Less Than Fresh
The food that people eat can say a lot about a culture. How is it prepared? What’s used to make sure that the person making the food achieves the flavor that diners will love?
When this Reddit user went to a store in the U.S. while they were living in Germany, they were thrown into a second of culture shock when they saw the bread aisle. This was probably thanks to the prevalence of options like sliced white bread rather than fresher, denser bread.
How Much Does it Cost?
When you purchase something, in most cases, you aren’t just paying for the cost of the item itself. There are other factors included in the overall cost such as taxes for what you’re buying.
Yet, the way one culture expresses this price can vary from another. It surprised this Reddit user from Australia, and many other travelers, to learn that taxes aren’t included in an item’s price before you buy it. The real total is given to the buyer once their items are rung up at the register.
The Culture Around Tipping
In many places, tipping is not only a sign of good service but it’s a rude part of paying to skip. In other places, tipping isn’t really a standard at all.
This person was used to a culture in which you rarely tip unless the service is really outstanding. This varied wildly from the standard of tipping in the U.S. This is because tips are a large part of the wages of a waitstaff, making it essential for them to make a living.
Just Hanging Around
There’s nothing that will give you culture shock quite like just a little sightseeing. Taking time to look around a new place, you’re likely to pick up on things that you’re surprised by.
While visiting Sri Lanka, this Reddit user was struck by a difference in the animals they saw or, at the very least, how they saw them. Instead of living mostly on farms or in fields, they saw plenty of cows just spending time wherever they pleased from roadsides to beaches.
There are certain things that are considered taboo in some cultures that other cultures don’t put the same negative emphasis on. This can leave you with culture shock when you’re asked, though.
This person shared that they have visited a few different places around the world that gave them culture shock. More specifically, they noted that, while they were in Taiwan, the older generation was happy to talk about their own and other’s income levels.
Vending machines are convenient because you can grab something you need, whenever you need it. You don’t have to worry about stopping at a store or hours of operation.
However, you probably wouldn’t immediately think of a vending machine as a source of culture shock. As this Reddit user shared, though, even these subtle details can catch your eye. When they were in Japan, they noticed that vending machines offered everything you need from bags of chips to cooked udon!
Culture shock can take your breath away at first but turn out to be a great learning experience. In fact, it could even be the reason that you make a few new friends along the way.
This person was visiting the United States when they were surprised to learn how friendly Americans often are. Of course, this can vary from person to person or region to region but it’s likely linked to the fact that Americans engage in a lot of “small talk” conversations throughout the day!
What you’re looking at here is a bike lane or chicane in Japan. Chicane is defined as a serpentine curve in a road, added by design rather than dictated by geography. They add extra turns and are used both in motor racing, as well as on roads and streets in order to slow traffic for safety.
And while Japan isn’t necessarily the only country to have these types of bike lanes, we think more places should adopt this method!
Bidets or Toilet Paper?
In a lot of places, toilet paper is a normal part of everyday life. However, it’s just as common in other places to opt for an option like a bidet.
This can cause a bit of culture shock when a part of your daily routine is disrupted. For instance, what do you do when you’re used to an option like a bidet but there’s only toilet paper available? In this person’s case, you wonder to yourself how hygienic a practice like this became the norm.
It’s interesting when culture shock takes a while to set in. For example, going abroad for a while might not shock you right away but you’ll notice the differences when you get back home.
This Reddit user shared an experience they had upon returning to the U.S. from the Netherlands. They said that the portion sizes back in the U.S. is what they were caught off guard by. They suddenly noticed how much bigger the portions in the U.S. were over the rest of the world.
Such a Waste
There are a few things about American culture that can give someone culture shock. Yet, it was the fact that waste is such a common occurrence in the United States.
This wasn’t just from food waste, though. They were surprised at all the general waste they saw as well. This included throwing away perfectly good food, as mentioned before, as well as habits such as leaving the water running when it doesn’t need to be. On top of that, the adherence to short expiration dates shocked them.
In Some Hot Water
In many places, if you want a glass of water, you’ll grab it chilled or even iced. It’s something so common that it can cause quite a moment of culture shock if that is changed.
This person was used to their cold glasses of water when they went to China. They realized while they were here that most people drank hot water with their meals rather than cold water. They also said they put a pointed effort into getting used to hot water but couldn’t.
Cultural and Sensory Shifts
This person had a slightly different perspective on the concept of culture shock. Instead of talking about visiting another country, they spoke about the culture of the blind community.
They said when they’re around other people who are blind, the way they interact is completely different. This not only includes more verbal cues rather than body language but that touching throughout conversations is more common and they often joke around in ways that other people might find rude.
Surprise from the Environment
Some of the things you see when you visit somewhere new aren’t limited to what people do or how they interact. Instead, this often relates to the things you might see.
For instance, if you live in the U.S., as this person from California, you’re probably used to seeing squirrels outside. Yet, that isn’t what everyone else sees when they walk outside. That’s why this person experienced a moment of culture shock when everyone was unphased by the iguana while they were in Puerto Rico.
Local Natural Occurences
Culture shock often comes hand-in-hand with being in a new environment. This not only means that there are different people but different physical environments as well.
While living in the U.K., this Reddit user never experienced an earthquake. Since then, they’ve moved to Japan, where earthquakes are a much more common occurrence due to the country’s relation to a fault line. We have to say, the Earth shaking beneath us for the first time would definitely throw us off guard.
The Cost of Living
When it comes to culture shock, it can be something as simple as doing an everyday task in a different way. This Reddit user experienced this when they went to the doctor.
Born in the U.S., they were living in the Netherlands when their wife had to get a prescription. Due to some medical sensitivities, she had to get the name brand for her prescription. In the U.S., the cost was closer to $900. They were confused by relieved when it actually cost about 24 euros.
What people use to eat with can cause a culture shock as well. For instance, the prevalence of chopsticks can prove quite a shock to someone who’s used to eating with a fork and knife constantly.
This person was particularly surprised about silverware while they were visiting the United States. In particular, they were taken aback by the constant use of disposable dishware including everything from
Trying New Dishes
When you visit somewhere that you’ve never been to before, you probably hope that you’ll love your experiences. Sometimes, though, you learn what you don’t like as well.
For this Reddit user, their culture shock and lesson came from Donaire sauce. It was this dish that really made them realize that they weren’t going to fall in love with everything popular where they were. Funnily enough, they were only traveling around the country they grew up in as well!
Take a Nap
This Reddit user had a unique chance to experience other cultures and culture shock as an au pair. At the time, they were in France, working for a family from Spain as an au pair.
While they were meeting the family on their first day, they experienced culture shock in the form of a siesta. The family introduced them to the concept of a siesta or a midday nap. They were taken by surprise and mostly just waited in their room until the mother of the family came to “wake them.”
Caught in the Little Things
In the U.S. and abroad, big corporations have profound effects. For instance, the items that people have every day in a place, they may know better by a brand name.
Speaking of the U.S., one of the best examples is calling bandages Bandaids. This person was just trying to find these items in Hong Kong and having quite some difficulty. This is because, as it turns out, they’re more generically known as plasters in Hong Kong and many locales.
The Perfect Weather
The funny thing about going to a different place where people are used to a different climate, there are different reactions to the weather. After all, what is considered hot or cold is relative.
The best way to see a bit of a culture shock firsthand is to see how someone from out of town handles the weather. For this person, that meant that their concept of what was hot enough to wear shorts was challenged. At least, their weather for shorts was another person’s sweater weather.
(Work) Culture Shock
There are times that culture shock doesn’t refer to culture in the traditional sense. There are different cultures even across different offices and workplaces.
That’s why this person was so shocked when they saw their workplace culture wasn’t as expected. Instead, they found themselves working somewhere with cliques, people blaming each other for mistakes, and a general lack of responsibility. Instead of the professional environments that were used to were suddenly replaced with something that reminded them of high school.
Dinner Table Chat
If there’s one thing that can really tell a difference between two cultures, it’s in what’s considered good dining manners. For instance, what should you do to make a good impression?
This person was living with a roommate in the U.S. who previously lived in Bosnia. They noted that she pointed out how odd it was that Americans were so social while they ate. This was opposed to what she was used to of every one mainly focused on strictly dining.
There are few things that can provide culture shock as much as the ability to communicate with new people for the first time. One of the best examples of this was the internet.
This person was experiencing the internet early on in its popularity. While they were playing an early iteration of today’s online gaming experience, they were shocked by what they encountered. Specifically, they were surprised they could talk to someone from across the globe!
Stop By a Drive-Thru
There are plenty of culture shock moments that don’t come from a huge, show-stopping experience. Sometimes, it’s the little things that catch the eye.
For example, how people shop in different countries and cultures can make for a noticeable change, even on a short trip. For this person, that culture shock came from seeing drive-thrus of every need while they were visiting the United States.
Sometimes, it isn’t necessarily what you see on a big vacation that causes a moment of culture shock. There are times when just seeing how other people behave can catch you off guard.
This person shared that they didn’t come from a family that showed affection as expressly as others. So, the concept of “hugs and kisses,” as they put it, gave them culture shock. They even went onto say they didn’t know how to react the first time they experienced it firsthand.