I never once thought that stepping off a plane, and stepping foot on soil would be so magical for me, and yet, so unbelievably scary for my son. For the first 2 days, he was paralysed with fear, hungry and tired. He pretty much slept on me, and refused to eat a thing.
I would say that it was due to him being diagnosed with a severe ear infection prior to leaving, and us having a few emergency trips to the doctor before Christmas, but, no, it was complete and utter culture shock. I was absolutely floored, I thought I had done everything right, showed him pictures, told stories, and prepared for the new surroundings. I guess, with my excitement, I completely overlooked that he had never stepped foot outside of Europe or North America, different languages and food were a norm, but seeing poverty and complete polar opposite surroundings was on a whole new level.
No matter how much preparation I attempted, a 5-year-old will not conceptualize how very different the surroundings are, or the food. So, it has been a much slower pace than I thought, but we are slowly working through the paralyzing and very crippling fears of a 5-year-old, and working our way through our travels.
One thing is for sure, my child is definitely not a 3 culture kid, and I have certainly not exposed him enough to extreme travels, things will be changing in 2016!