Approximately, three weeks has passed since I have been in Costa Rica. I think I am experiencing “culture shock”. It is inevitable. For the first two weeks, I was very excited about being in a new country and trying new things. I was happy about meeting my Tico family, sightseeing, and trying new foods. Now, I have passed the “honeymoon phase”. I miss my family in the United States. I feel frustrated because I have not been able to speak with them as much as I would like. I miss my son, his love and smiles. I miss the normals of my routines when I was home. I feel like I cannot fit in with others here. I feel like I standout differently from everyone else. However, I have to constantly remind myself that studying abroad is a “one-in-a-lifetime” chance. I have to take advantage of this opportunity. I am stepping out my comfort zone, so of course, it is going to take some time to adjust to a new culture. I am staying busy to avoid isolation and depression. I have been traveling around the city with my housemates, touring Downtown San Jose, Zapote, and Guadalupe. I have become more accustomed to the city’s public transportation system. I have ridden buses to the central market, bank, and other stores. During my bus ride today, I reflected on how I am trying new things that I would not ordinarily do in the United States. I felt a sense of accomplishment. I would never ride the public buses and taxis back in the US because I always have felt afraid and unsafe. However, since I have been riding in Costa Rica, I think that riding may not be so bad after all. I am more willing to try back at home. Also, since I have been in Costa Rica, I realized that I am more comfortable speaking Spanish with locals. I am able to ask more questions, understand, and respond faster. I am less intimidated to initate a conversation. Overall, I believe that my experience in Costa Rica is going great, but I just miss home. I understand that this is all a part of the normal up’s and down’s of culture shock, so I know things will get better. I will continue to be optmistic as I adjust to the wonderful Tico culture. Pura Vida.
Disclaimer: I am not the originator of the Culture Shock image. Image found through Google Image Search. http://goo.gl/p9cRXe