Traveling always affords opportunity for people watching. When traveling abroad, it’s a necessity, as that‘s how I’d acclimate to the culture, understand gestures and how to read people, and other nuances of day to day life. Admittedly, I had not traveled around the States that much prior to Van Life, and it has been fascinating to observe different aspects of the culture here in the States. At some point during my past travels, someone once told me that people experience the most culture shock while traveling to countries that speak their same language, because there is an expectation of similarity. I felt that full-on while traveling through the Caribbean island of Dominica- technically English speaking, I really struggled to understand words and meanings. Words were used differently and held different meaning, so even when I understood the word, we still didn’t understand each other.
So here, in the country I was born and raised, it wasn’t so surprising to have it happen. This country is huge, and we are all shaped by our surrounding environment. It has been fascinating to observe and learn about nuances and cultural differences; read through the history of a place, and see how it has shaped the current culture.
Poeple watching- a past time that has shifted in this digital age; it’s been great to have the opportunity to see life unfold in real life; being able to go past what is presented of a place, and really experience it.