For Steven Stapinski Andover and Massachusetts was somewhere that he adored to live and I must be honest, I had a feeling that he would stay there for the rest of his days. Imagine my surprise therefore when Steven gets on the phone to me and announces that he is off to spend a year in France, a move which I of course wholeheartedly supported. I was really excited for Steven and having lived in a couple of countries around the world myself, I couldn’t wait to see how this adventure changed him. As expected, when he returned a year later, he was a different man altogether.
I have always been a great believer in living in other countries for a short while at least, and here is why I believe that everyone should give it a try.
Te biggest risk which many of us face in life is comfort, getting too comfortable and then not challenging ourselves. This happens when we are brought up somewhere, schooled there, work there and then settle down there. This is what will slowly but surely kill the soul and the truth is that finding a way to make yourself uncomfortable is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. When you move to new surroundings you have to start from scratch, and in doing so you find out much more about yourself.
Living abroad is such an amazing experience and it is like this prolonged vacation with a sense of home thrown in for good measure. You know that at some point you are likely to return to your home country but you don’t really know when, and that provides a genuine excitement .
This is an adventure which will make you a much deeper person and a far more well rounded person simply because you will have taken on another culture and there is no way that this doesn’t affect who you are as a person. Whether you go to France or Mozambique, there are certain cultural differences which you will have to get used to and this is something which will make a lasting impression on who you are and what you do.
Sense of Perspective
The most compelling reason why I would urge people to live abroad at least once in their life is because it helps you to gain a real sense of perspective about who you are, what you want and ultimately where you are heading. Staying in that same old bubble is never going to offer you this kind of perspective and that is why you have to get out there into the world and learn more about yourself and where you are from.
Steven is the perfect example of someone who took this experience for everything that it was worth, and I would certainly suggest that all of you out there give it a go too.