I will always be grateful for the opportunity to experience China first-hand, and learn best practices from this global giant. Apart from my intriguing work experiences which had it’s own nuances, one of the major recurring themes I observed as an outsider trying to fit in, was that of Control.
I respect and admire many of China’s advancements in both business and innovation and their unique approach is what seems to sustain them as a key global player in this regard. However, from a cultural perspective, I definitely had to adjust to the level of control exerted by those around me via shops, banks, the abundance of surveillance cameras and most obviously – the blocking of traditional media sources such as Facebook or Google. It suddenly became absolutely crucial to be more aware of not only my behavior and surroundings, but also to self-patrol my digital habits in addition to my physical presence.
While this was certainly not a monumental task, it definitely made me more conscious of the various levels of control that exists in different societies. As an avid globetrotter and globally minded individual, one of my best pieces of advice is to always respect the rules and regulations as a guest in the countries you enter.
This may seem obvious, but as humans we may have a natural tendency to do what we like, when we like, because it is acceptable where we originate from. I urge you to always be mindful of the location you find yourself in, and to practice Self-Control when and where-ever appropriate. In addition to this, I would certainly recommend becoming more introspective, not only with regard to the sights you see, but also regarding what kind of traveler you are. This should help mitigate culture shock in the long-run and promote smart travel habits for your next great adventure!