A lot of people that travel to countries far away from their bed for the first time have to deal with some sort of culture shock. Most of the time, this happens with people that are traveling to a foreign country for the first time where there is much more poverty than in their own’s. But strangely enough, it was completely different in our situation. We had a culture shock when traveling to Australia.
A lot of travelers get culture shocks when they go to Asia or Africa for the first time, or maybe even South-America. But nobody ever expects to have a culture shock in Australia right? Well, we neither!
We are from Belgium, a small country in Western Europe, with a lot of inhabitants. And actually, Australia isn’t such a big difference compared to our country. Except for its size – and wild animals – of course, but that’s not the reason of our culture shock.
Well, what is it then?
Before coming to Australia, we traveled for almost ten months in a row through Asia. All the way from Central Asia through China to the beautiful Indonesian islands in South East Asia. And we had a fantastic time in whole Asia. It’s such a great, colorful continent with beautiful nature and people. But it was time for something new, a new adventure.
Knowing that we could easily live together on $30 a day in Asia, you’re probably already starting to get an idea of what we mean.
Yes, the money! Our carefully saved money, our precious daily budget, …
Everything changed from the minute we stepped foot on the tarmac in Perth.
Of course, we weren’t unprepared. We already knew that living and traveling in Australia would be way more expensive than for example in Vietnam. But still. We’re shocked about the price differences between the two continents. They lie so closely to each other but are so different from one another.
For example, we could have had a delicious dinner for two at a decent restaurant for less than $ 10, while here in Australia, a regular Big Mac Menu in McDonald’s already costs $ 10 per person. A bed in a modern dorm room costs $15 in Asia, while here, you’d pay $50 for that. That’s more than 3x the price we are used to pay!
This all means that if you don’t have some source of income, it’s almost impossible to travel around whole Australia. That’s why everyone comes to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa!
But that’s not the only thing that has changed.
During those 10 months in Asia, we can’t remember the last time we had to use our sweater. But when we got out of the plane here in our t-shirts at 8 pm, damn it was cold! We immediately had to search for our sweater in our backpacks before we got out of the arrival hall.
But that was our fault, of course, it was our choice to leave Asia behind and to come to Perth in May, just when winter is starting. The temperature difference is huge and we aren’t used to the cold anymore after such a long time.
Don’t get us wrong, we really love Australia, although it’s expensive and cold at the moment, we’re enjoying every second of it. We already encountered real Australian wildlife, are currently staying on a cattle farm and met tons of lovely and welcoming Australians.
A culture shock never lasts long, and we think that we’ll stay here for a while 🙂
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