Born and raised in the southern neighbor country, this is my first time living in the U.S. Previously, I lived abroad and traveled across different nations. This is my passion, I love to discover new people, places, languages, dishes, smells, sky colors, textures, music, etc. That is why living in U.S. is just amazing. A super diverse population composes this country. To me, being immersed in a multicultural environment represents the opportunity to hold one of my favorite conversations: “cultural differences”. It is an interesting topic to explore and to understand other traditions, customs, and religious or moral beliefs. Or even more, to find out amazing or unexpected similarities between your hometown and a place you can´t even find on a map.
At the beginning of the process, if you are not accustomed or if you are new to getting along with different cultures, you could be surprised by some behaviors. For instance, in my personal experience, I was stunned when I realized that some French women could be offended if a man tried to help them carry their shopping bags. The reason why is because they know that they are strong enough to hold their own bags. So an act that to me means a simple gesture of gentlemanliness could be interpreted as a sign of chauvinism by another individual.
I am not an expert on this subject. However, in my humble opinion, if you live abroad and you wish to have a richer experience, you should change your mindset. It does mean that you cannot keep or embrace your own culture. But instead, learn from others and share yours. The best way to do it is not being partisan of stereotypes or retrograde ideas about people. In doing so you will discover that those so-called cultural differences are not that different at the end of the day.