Stage one

There are four stages of cultural adaptation after moving to a new place.

  1. The honeymoon stage
  2. The hostility stage
  3. The adjustment stage
  4. The integration stage

In my experience there was a pre-stage when I read all I could get my hands on about Canada, BC, Vancouver, and UBC. There were so many things to do before leaving: meet friends, stop by the office and say good-bye to colleagues, call grandma, buy a new suitcase, pack books and clothes, take out clothes and pack more books, buy an extra suitcase, pack rain boots because the website suggested doing that, pack unpack and repack….

There was no end to running around, until there was an end: in the Pulkovo International Airport at 6.45am, on Sunday, August 25th.  Right before boarding the plane to leave Saint Petersburg I went numb as if all the life power and will had been sucked out, making me move almost like a pre-programmed robot. Hectic good-byes, hugs, passport, boarding pass, customs, boarding, take off, landing, passport control, study permit in hand, bus to Vancouver downtown. Here I am, let the four stages begin.

My honeymoon with Vancouver.

“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”―Jane Austen

Even though first month is over, I still stop in awe every time I see the mountains, the ocean,or the huge trees. The richest impressions of September come from seeing raccoons, skunks, and seals, hugging a tree, and climbing a huge rock in Lighthouse park.

Here are my tips on making the honeymoon stage last:

  • If the day has been hard, go sit by the water, it will wash away the frustration. Wreck Beach  is just a minute away
  • If your eyes hurt from staring into the computer screen, go to the Rose Garden and let your eyes rest on the beautiful flowers.
  • If you feel too wound up, unwind at the Nitobe Memorial Garden. Its serenity will calm your thought and clear out all the worries.
  • If you have been sitting in the library all day, go for a walk. Go to Stanley, or Pacific Spirit Regional Park if you want to be closer to campus.

In any case, just reach out to nature and it will help you. It has been helping me.

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