Where you live; Where you work
This blog is all about the cross-cultural journey of becoming cultural insiders.
Are you living or working as an expat? Are you studying abroad? Are you living somewhere as a cultural outsider? Do you want to feel like an outsider forever? Actually, the answer to that question isn’t as “automatic” as you might think! Some people grow pretty accustomed to living isolated lives: they’re in a new place, but acting like they’re still in their old place. If you’re not interested in becoming a real part of your new community — your new world – then you’ll want to stay away from this blog. It will only irritate you. But for the rest of you — the ones who would like to become cultural insiders – we’re offering you a resource here. You need some help, some encouragement, some instruction… and you KNOW it! Whether it’s for occasional international business trips, or a long-term relocation, we need help to connect locally and become relevant.
This is not a natural thing to do! Whether it’s an Asian in America, or an American in Asia, becoming culturally relevant is far from automatic for anyone! Most of us are locked up pretty tightly inside our “cultural cages“, and it’s the rare person that even BEGINS to see this about himself. Culture is an amazing thing: it’s the lens in our glasses. But we don’t SEE the lens, we see THROUGH the lens, and it affects our perception of absolutely EVERYTHING. What you consider “odd”, is someone else’s “normal”. You know that, right? Many people are capable of agreeing with that concept at an academic level. But few actually come to grips with it.
This blog is meant to help us first SEE the “cultural cages” that we’re locked up in, and then help us try to BREAK OUT a bit. It’s meant to help you connect with new friends, make sense of what’s happening around you, and instead of being perpetually misunderstood, help you to gradually become understood by others in the way you’d LIKE to be understood.
So, come along with me on this journey.
Be a Learner. GET LOCAL!