When we talk about best Snowbird destination, we need to talk about Snowbird culture shock.
What we mean by this term is whether or not the reality of your life today can be melded into the reality of a foreign land. Or will the realities of the destination make you wish you had never traveled there?
Let us give you some examples.
Do heavily armed police on every corner bother you? Do shotgun toting guards at the gas station give you pause?
Some years back we had the privilege to visit China. Now that is a foreign land. What snowbird culture shock did we see? How about watching a young Chinese mother with her – oh, about 18 month old child in Tiananmen Square – and seeing this young mother drop her child’s drawers, and allow it to defecate in full view, in public with no apparent embarrassment.
How do you feel about visiting the washroom facilities in a public institution and find the conditions absolutely deplorable.
How about displays of public nudity?
On another trip to Brazil, we ignorant Canadians wandered around the streets of Sao Paulo, only learning afterwards that the crime rate was horrendously high, and the hotel staff said we should never, ever, wander around on our own.
Snowbird Culture Shock
So much of what makes us comfortable in any surroundings is that those surroundings coincide with our “normality”, that is to say, the culture that we are comfortable with.
When we visit a foreign location for a week or two, even if there are things about the location that bother us, that might even shock us, we know that in a few days or a week, we’ll be back home in our native environment.
But what happens if you are staying in that locale for months?
Take the time to consider what the “norms” are in the country you plan on staying in for some months before you go, or, if possible, visit for a short time first, to make sure that an extended stay won’t you a case of culture shock.