Central America is dangerous

…cause you get problems with your own culture.

culture shockI am German. I do not know, if that says anything about me but definitely about the culture I am coming from. Germans in general are not famous for being the friendliest people on the planet, I guess.

Therefore, when I came back home from a 10 months trip to Canada in 2013 I was shocked. Holy cow! People were so not interested in each other, everything was about work and Germans did not seem to enjoy life. On the contrary while being in Canada I fell in love with Canadian friendiness, helpfulness and their mandatory “How r you doin?”.

Now, I am returning from Central America. But for all that not to Germany but to my former home Canada. And I am feeling like an alien again! I am making the same experiences I’ve made with Germany before –  just 100 times stronger. The whole culture seems weird to me – automatically flushing toilets, hand senitizers, XXL Pizzas, people with big cars, always in a hurry and talking about what they have and what they are – while I made amazingly good friends in Nicaragua without even knowing their last names!

I admit, that I traveled for more or less 30 hours and that I am sleep deprived, therefore sensitive, and that I obviously have a culture shock. But I miss my milkshake lady who knows my name, where I come from and who makes jokes about sex all the time – now the supermarkt cashier only asks me if I have airmiles. I miss that people are relaxed and sooo caring, helpful and supportive with each other – it counts more than any written rule. I miss these very unique smiles that go directly to your heart and the deeply felt happiness in the eyes of people. I see the skyline of my former town, the traffic lights and hear the endless noise of driving cars, and just wish myself back to the calm highlands of Guatemala.

But I’ve already noticed that I am getting better. And like many things in life it’s just a matter of time. I met my old friends here and catching up is great. And each of them is so sweet! They are smiling that I am here, offering help, support and food and using the maximum of Canadian friendliness to chase away my culture shock. That they listen to my experiences and try to understand me is the best kind of support I can get, cause feeling like an alien and not being able to get the culture anymore is the biggest challenge. But as far as I know, there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a cup of tea, waffles and unconditional love of friends. Thank you!! ❤

How to know that you’re in Central America?

20 facts I’ve learned

Traveling to a another country gives you the opportunity to learn a lot about your own culture. And when you go back home, you will be able to see it with different eyes.
While traveling in Central America, I’ve learned a lot about the cultures there and I want to share with you, what I’ve experienced. So here is the ultimate guide: How to know that you’re in Central America! 🙂

You know, that you’re in Central America …

smile in Guatemala1. … when people smile at you sincerely.

2. … when you see guards with big guns in front of each bank.

3. … when people call seafood “viagra”.

4. … when people are incredibly generous, helpful and concerned, that you don’t eat enough. Continue reading