Sunday, August 28, 2011

Broaden your horizon

Stepping out of my ‘usual’ space for a day provides new insights and ideas - not only for my work but also for me; even though I went only to a different city. It reminds me how stepping out of ones comfort zone and own space (physical and mental) broadens your horizon. Travelling, studying and working abroad have often exposed me to more things than I was looking for.
For example, expecting to learn the language of the country I am visiting is an expected outcome. However, to learn so much more about my own language and understand how translating it directly into a foreign language can in other cultural contexts appear rude and very offensive, was an interesting discovery.
Experiencing new cultures, countries and people the most inspiring is to learn something about one self. The engagement with other people and cultures made me re-think and even question my own cultural core assumptions and beliefs. Meeting the other has provoked more change ‘within’ than I ever expected.
It does not mean that going elsewhere will have the effect of learning and discovery. I have also met people who lived abroad and successfully blocked out all new things. They actually put in a lot of effort to remain the ‘same’ by downgrading all that is ‘different’ with the sentence ‘where I come from we do it this or the other way, which is much better than...’
It is a difficult exercise to explain to others the possibilities that open up when broadening your horizon. I would like to encourage you to try it out and to never get tired of exploring new things. It keeps you fresh, humble and excited about life.

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