Culture Shock Series

As you know, I travel a lot. I have also got to experience living in 2 very distinct cultures. The first culture was where I lived the majority of my life: Marshfield, Wisconsin. I did live in Madison, Wisconsin for college, and then a stint for a job after college, but I was coming home almost every single weekend so that doesn’t count for much. What I truly know and grew up with was the culture around Central Wisconsin. In May 2014, I decided to uproot and move to Austin, Texas. I can tell you, even though it is in the same country, it might as well be a different country due to the cultural differences.

With that, I have been able to really examine, in depth, the cultures of two areas far across the country from each other. Additionally, with my travels, I have been able to gather bits and pieces of many other cultures in between.

From my general observations, I can see cultural changes in varying levels depending on distance:

One thing many people take for granted is culture and their cultural point of reference. There are a lot of understandings that are completely implicit in every culture. When talking to someone, you have a subconscious bias to think that that person has the same implicit understandings. In many ways, once you go into the 300-500+ range, this isn’t the case anymore.

The “Culture Shock” series examines my observations in cultural differences from my (limited) viewpoint. These observations might change over time as I observe more and take in more information. It’ll be interesting to point out the differences in culture and I’m sure a lot of people will be able to relate in one way or another.

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