Culture shock is basically a giant mood swing. You go from “this place is amazing I never want to leave!” to “what the heck, this place is stupid my country is much better I want to go home” and back to “I can’t believe I ever wanted to leave!” The simplest thing can bring it around. For example I was at an Italian restaurant in Germany and I couldn’t order my own food, meanwhile the 7 year old behind me sounded as if he was ordering a four course meal! Moments similar to that happen to everyone and it is just something you have to learn to cope with. I listen to music when I start to feel irritated and it instantly improves my mood.
Culture shock also occurs at different moments for different people. If you’re staying somewhere for a month you’re more likely to encounter culture shock half way through your stay. If you’re staying for a year you probably won’t feel culture shock until 2-4 months into your stay. If you’re only there for a week your less likely to have as many culture shock “symptoms” because your stay isn’t as long. Your culture shock might be less if you are traveling with a group of people from your country since you are speaking your own language, hanging around people you already feel comfortable with.When you are with a group of people like yourself, you aren’t getting the full cultural exposure therefore culture shock most likely won’t be as bad.
Also, culture shock happens to everyone. It’s a fact in the traveling world. There is no way to avoid it and you just have to learn to accept it and see things in a more positive light. Once you accomplish this your stay becomes 10x better because you learn to appreciate the cultural differences between your country and where you are staying. After all, isn’t that what traveling is all about? 🙂