Different yes! But not so different inside!

From Sharon Booth

Video Interview Transcript

Travelling abroad was hard for me at first. I mean I was in at the deep end culturally the first year. I remember really struggling. Was I wrong to be behaving this way as a British person. Was I wrong. Were these people wrong. Like what, why was this clash there culturally on certain things. I used to take a book with me everywhere I went because I'd make an appointment to meet a friend but they would always be at least half an hour late. And at the beginning, I was like no, that's wrong. You shouldn't be late. It's rude. But by the time I left the Middle East I understood that that's not what we did in the Middle East. It's actually wrong or rude to say to the person who's just knocked on your door, I'm sorry I can't see you now. I've got to go meet my friend. You deal with the person in front of you in the hospitality that's there; and there's just a different way of operating and it took me time to learn to be comfortable and to breathe and to relax with that and then to say that yeah it doesn't have to be a certain way. I've experienced that you know even just the things like how you do the washing up. I lived with an American in Jordan who washed up a certain way. I lived with Tunisians in Tunisia who have washed up a certain way. British people wash up a certain way. And all of those three ways or four ways when you have the Jordanians as well are different ways of doing the washing up. And I started to just realize that you can wash all the different ways you want. There was a British way isn't the correct way. So from every level of life if you can go through those experiences even though it's hard and starts then to embrace and be comfortable with the fact that we're all different in some ways. You start to realize as well that we're all kind of the same as well in many ways, in the way that we respond to things, our emotions, our relationships. And it becomes less threatening and it actually becomes interesting and exciting.

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