Each time I run off to a foreign country I am sure to buy a new Moleskin to document my trip in. Most of what I write is nothing to profound, mainly just a basic break down of what my day consisted of. Sometimes though, I will sit down and write something with a bit more substance. Usually these entries are inspired by a feeling I'm having or a thought that's been stuck in my head for a few days. I decided these writings deserve a little more attention, so without further ado here is an entry from my Bali travel journal. Some context, I felt incredibly anxious during the front half of my time in Bali. I attributed that anxiety to culture shock because Bali was my first time really experiencing culture shock. So one night I jotted some thoughts into my phone while laying in bed to make sense of my feelings, and later transferred those thoughts into my journal.
March 8, 2017
I lay in my top bunk reflecting on my first full day in Bali. For the majority of the day I felt incredibly anxious. When I stop to think about what could be making me feel so frazzled I came up with 2 things:
1. Jat lag.
2. Culture shock.
This is my first time being somewhere where I truly can see and feel the shock of my new surroundings and the anxious feelings that can go along with that. Not being able to understand signs on the street as you drive by, not fully understanding a menu at dinner. It can make you nervous, give you culture shock. But isn't culture shock a good thing in a sense? I mean, it makes you realize that there are other valid ways of life that are polar opposite of what you are used to. It makes you feel small, in that you don't know it all and you have to stop and ask for help. Being able to ask for help is an incredible life skill in my eyes. Culture shock forces you to learn and adapt. You have to remain open minded and roll with the punches. I suppose without culture shock what is travel? The whole point of traveling is to learn and grow and accept. You will never be able to do that is you stick to what is comfortable and familiar.