21 Travelers Share Their Biggest Case of Culture Shock


Traveling is always an exhilarating experience. You learn about new cultures, interact with people who have no idea what you’re talking about, etc.

I like to hear people talk about their travels and learn about how extremely different things are outside of the U.S. A friend of mine told me about his trip to India, and I was blown away – and I was just listening. Take a look at these 21 stories from AskReddit users about their culture shock while traveling abroad.

1. Interesting…

I went from a dry country (Australia) to Ohio and found that everything is green. If you need water, you just dig a hole in the ground.

2. Kinda gross, but okay

Barefoot people EVERYWHERE in New Zealand. In Starbucks, in the mall, on public transit, walking down the street. No shoes, no socks.

3. #awkward

I went to Greece this past January, and we went into this little t-shirt shop. The lady asked where we were from and we said Chicago. She then goes “I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago, I love black people!”

Had no idea how to respond to that.

4. Garbage

Truck playing music while driving down streets of Taipei. I commented that it might be an ice cream truck. My host looked at me funny and replied “that’s the garbage truck. If we want ice cream, we go to the 7 Eleven store”.

5. Landlocked

I live in the Netherlands. Water is all around me. From the sea, to the canals, to waterways dividing the fields between different farms. The first time I visited Iowa and drove around there it took me a couple of days to realise there wasn’t any water between the fields and acres. Sure, there’s a river and what not, but essentially it’s just endless actual ground. It made me feel uneasy for a couple of minutes.

6. Landscape

I live in the English countryside so I’m used to seeing lots of green (fields, parks, forests) no matter where I am. I don’t travel much so I’m pretty much always surrounded by nature.

When we got to Berlin it just felt weird to see grey and brown buildings or construction sites.

7. Lost in Russia

I moved from the US to Moscow. The first two weeks were an absolute nightmare since Moscow is about 18x larger than my home city. My favorite culture shock experience is on my 2nd day getting lost in the train system for hours. The train system as amazing and efficient as it is, you can get lost for days if you don’t know it.