When we head out to live in another country, we have certain perceptions of how things will go. Cultural adaptation won’t be so hard for us! Then we live there for awhile, and things sneak up on us that have the potential to knock us out of the situation. Maybe it’s harder than we think?
Jerry Jones, a former missionary and now cross-cultural coach, has a passion (and years of experience) for helping people transition from one cultural setting to another. His blog post, “The Seven Lies of Living Cross Culturally” is a good check list to ensure we aren’t too hard on ourselves while at the same time ensuring we are realistic with what we face.
“People who live cross-culturally, for any significant portion of their lives, are often duped. When we first choose to live as foreigners we are prime for the suckering. We are wide eyed and overflowing with enthusiasm. We soak up everything that Lonely Planet, Rosetta Stone and Wikipedia have to offer about our soon to be new home. In our zeal we are prone to misgauging our own proficiency . . .” (read more)