Part 2/2: HOW to journal to help cultural adjustment

Part 2/2: HOW to journal to help cultural adjustment

Last week I wrote a post on why writing a journal can help you adjust into a new culture (or back into a familiar one if you’ve been away).

The next obvious question is – how do I journal?

Image Source: Unsplash – Jan Kahanek

Today I thought I’d offer up two methods.

1) Start with an inspirational, relevant quote

If you have a faith it might be something from your religious texts, or it could just be a quote about travels and journeys.

Write your quote at the top of the page, then start reflecting on how it matches or differs from what you are currently experiencing in the new culture. Does it offer insights into how to handle the experience, or a new perspective you can use?

Here are some to get you started if you can’t think of any (though Google can be a useful tool here):

  • “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
  • “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
  • “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
  • “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost
  • “Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

2) Ask yourself some prompting questions

These might kick off the writing process in your journal, but don’t feel like you have to stick with them – just go where the pen takes you!

You also don’t have to do all of them at once – just pick one or two a day and go from there.

  • What is the main emotion I am feeling right now? Why?
  • What am I thankful for today?
  • What was the most significant event that happened today/this week?
  • What has frustrated me today? Why
  • Is there a moment I want to remember?
  • How have my interactions with others been today (particularly helpful if you’re travelling with others)
  • What have I learnt about myself?
  • What are my expectations for today/tomorrow?
  • Were yesterday’s expectations accurate? Where were they wrong or exceeded?

Go on, give it a try!


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