If you’re anythying like us you’ll agree travel is all about immersing yourself in the local culture, staying mindfully open to new experiences and appreciating the big and small differences that make each place unique.
Still, nothing can really prepare you for some of the strange sights you’ll see while travelling the world, from weird and wonderful to downright scary. Here’s a taste of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to culture shock.
1 – Clothes shopping
USA. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/mopals5
Hmm… decisions, decisions. So many outfit options, all so bangin’. A Nigerian child contemplates the ‘camouflage aisle’ in a Midwestern USA superstore.
2 – Grocery shopping
Hangzhou, China. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/unamexicanaenchina
Yummy! If market stalls loaded with delicious fresh produce like this one in Hangzhou don’t get you working up an appetite, we don’t know what will.
3 – Menu madness
Thanh Pho Hai Phong, Vietnam. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/traceyjay82
No. Somebody please tell us the adorable kitty on this Vietnamese restaurant’s sign is just their mascot, or there’s been some other terrible misunderstanding. Please!
4 – Ginormous portions
Sausalito, California, USA. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/meninaviajei
Sometimes when ordering a light breakfast in the USA you end up with a tad more than you bargained for. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, is it?
5 – Questionable safety
Delhi, India. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/raffaelnef
We have a sneaking suspicion that adhering to health and safety standards is not a top priority on the streets of Old Delhi. Creates quite a charming decorative canopy though, don’t you think?
6 – Transport
El Nido, Philippines. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/emmastafford17
This truck in the Philippines is ticking all the boxes for great public transport: comfy, not too crowded and most importantly safe. Yeah right!
7 – Plant life
Switzerland. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/funngabe
Now here’s something you definitely don’t see every day in Australia. A thriving hemp plantation sways gently in the breeze as it basks in the Swiss sunshine.
8 – Personal grooming
Varanasi, India. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/rudy_mceniry
No biggie. Just calmly getting an old-skool shave with a straight razor on the streets of Varanasi. Now that’s trust!
9 – Public toilets
Kunming, Yunnan, China. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/icarus.akamatusu
Negotiating unfamiliar public toilets while travelling abroad can be tricky and confusing. Luckily this Chinese restroom has provided users with a handy sign to assist.
10 – Medicine
Tanzania. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/begoodtotravel
Traditional bushmen in Tanzania swear by setting fire to dried elephant dung and inhaling the smoke to cure all sorts of ills. Worth a try, right?
11 – Reverse culture shock
Australia. Photo credit: www.instagram.com/melbournefoodiehub
Think that returning home to the land down under means an end to culture shock? Don’t count on it. Readjusting to Aussie life after time away means you may find yourself questioning some of the wackiness in your own backyard more than ever, like this polarising Vegemite smoothie from juice chain Boost.