Thank you.


A reflection:

The smell of the burning incense on the dashboard floated through the air, kind of like my thoughts in this old yellow taxi. We were stuck in traffic in down town Kolkata. I was told it could be hours before we moved again. The driver saw how happy and content I was in this moment, he smiled and bobbled his head at me. A coincidence that his shirt matched mine. This made him happy. We had something in common.

I get such a kick out of people watching. If I take the time to slow down in my day and become a part of whats going on around me, I really do experience a lot.

On this day, the time passed fast as did the ever-changing smells of a hectic city. We crept forward inch by inch.

I felt very calm in this moment, I sat back to enjoy the ride and take it all in.

The constant blaring sounds of vehicles and motorbikes honking their horns, I don’t really even notice anymore, I tend to only hear the children on the street laughing and men selling chai from the road side, they come to my window. I don’t refuse a chai. Ever.

At 27 I am proud to say, I have finally learnt how to relax in even the most unbelievably frustrating moments while traveling and living overseas for the third time.

Culture shock and language barriers are both my friends now. I embrace them with open arms.

I came across this on Wikipedia.

The stages; I have gone through all of them in more than one country.

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Honeymoon phase

During this period, the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light, wonderful and new. For example, in moving to a new country, an individual might love the new food, the pace of the life, the people’s habits, the buildings and so on. During the first few weeks, most people are fascinated by the new culture. They associate with the nationals that speak their language and are polite to the foreigners. This period is full of observations and new discoveries.

Negotiation phase

After some time (usually three months but sometimes sooner or later, depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. Excitement may eventually give way to unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as one continues to experience unfavorable events that may be perceived as strange and offensive to one’s cultural attitude. Language barriers, stark differences in public hygiene, traffic safety, food accessibility and quality may heighten the sense of disconnection from the surroundings.

While being transferred into a different environment puts special pressure on communication skills, there are practical difficulties to overcome.

The most important change in the period is communication: People adjusting to a new culture often feel lonely and homesick because they are not yet used to the new environment and meet people with whom they are not familiar every day. The language barrier may become a major obstacle in creating new relationships.

Adjustment phase

Again, after some time (usually 6 to 12 months), one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines. One knows what to expect in most situations and the host country no longer feels all that new. One becomes concerned with basic living again, and things become more “normal”. One starts to develop problem-solving skills for dealing with the culture and begins to accept the culture’s ways with a positive attitude. The culture begins to make sense, and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced.

Mastery phase

In the mastery stage assignees are able to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture. Mastery does not mean total conversion; people often keep many traits from their earlier culture, such as accents and languages. (Culture shock – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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To be honest, half the time I find it hard to describe back some of the situations I have gotten myself into while being an International Flight Attendant.

In someway or another I feel like someone is always watching out over me, and the best option always seems to arise if I just go with it. The key I find is not to fight what is happening or the feeling that I experience, for no matter if I like it or not, it will still happen and I am growing just by going through the motions.

I have learnt patience, acceptance and to be able to adapt to my surroundings. These have become some of my greatest achievements.

It’s feels amazing to know how much I have changed and adapted in two years of non stop traveling in a life which is one of complete movement. My mind is constantly open from learning from these experiences that I throw myself into head first.

My heart is full of love from meeting beautiful people who have let me enter into their lives, sometimes all I get is one day to spend with them, but time and time again they want to tell me their stories.

These people are from all walks of life, and probably most I will never have the chance to have “That cup of chai” with again, or see how their children grow up, I won’t get to go to the wedding of their daughter or get to go back and see the flowers in their garden that they were so proud to show me they had planted.

Sometimes the only thing I can take with me is a smile in a picture I took that will always remind me of their story and I am able to share it with my friends and family and so their little story lives on.

So this is my thank you letter to you, World.

You are listening to me and providing me with amazing experiences. You are taking me to a place in my life that only in my wildest dreams I could have thought possible. You are providing my days to be full of magic, beauty and new friendships. You are keeping me inspired. Your making it all come true.

I will never take any of this for granted and I continue to feel very blessed by being able to travel.

 

Thank you for passing by my way,

Nadia Glyn.

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5 thoughts on “Thank you.

  1. Your blog is breathtaking. I have many times over the years considered becoming a flight attendent purely for the reason that I might be able to see the world. I love the angles you capture Sri Lanka with- and your describing just “going with the flow” is spot on- whenever I am somewhere new, I just let it happen. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment. YES going with the flow is what it’s all about. I feel very lucky to travel and call it work. Seeing so much of this amazing world keeps me very inspired. Have a great day! 🙂

  2. Very true, very true Nads. I feel homesick for Canada cause I adjusted so well! You’re living a yoga life now 🙂

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