Although I can’t vouch for its accuracy, I liked this neat formula for deciding how long to spend getting to know a new country. Not surprisingly, Steinbeck and Capa chose the one month version rather than the full five years for their visit to the Soviet Union. It seems anything over a month and under five years will just be a blur.
It is said that in a foreign country impressions are sharp and accurate for a month, and then they become blurred, and the reactions are not accurate again for five years, so that one should stay either one month or five years in a country.
Source: John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, with photographs by Robert Capa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999 (1948)), p. 183
Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao at unsplash