Saturday, July 26, 2014

A leopard can't change his spots

As much as I believe and support the idea of being always yourself, I gotta say part of adaptation is change. Understanding a new culture is living it. 

Culture immersion can be uncomfortable (it's always easier to hangout with people who share your same background, right?) but it is helpful to anyone living in another country, and to myself brought great results.

Don't be afraid to test new waters, here are few things that helped me to navigate and absorb all the surroundings:

• Have an American friend part of your support system. Getting close to them will open your eyes to how people communicate, interact, and what are their common preferences - which will teach you a lot of local culture.

• Get tickets to stand up comedies, or watch comedy shows often. American humor is a great way to understand their culture (and learn to be funny here as well - we all wanna be around fun people, right?)

• Learn idioms! Popular sayings stick for a reason: it is part of culture.

• Be an active member of your community. Have you ever heard the saying "hard times bring America together"? It's true. Maybe you will learn a couple of social and government flaws, but mostly you will learn about people.

Undoubtedly, is your decision how deep this journey will affect you. Just be aware of a fine line between blending in and losing yourself in. Often what makes you unique, makes you special - and learning to adapt a new reality doesn't mean erasing what you carry within.

Stand tall & peace out!

*"A leopard can't change his spots" is an American idiom, defined as: you can't change who you are