Excellent piece via Instapundit regarding why young Americans should be looking for work overseas – my thoughts will follow:
There’s a lot of alarmism in the media these days. Iran is going to start World War III. War between China and the US is inevitable. A bunch of rag-tag tribesmen in Pakistan are going to wrought nuclear annihilation on all of us. Drug runners in Mexico are going to chop your limbs off. Bizarrely named African rebels are going to drink your blood.
It’s time to get over the hype, move beyond the overblown cultural differences within the human species, and to get over, as Hitchens quotes Freud as saying, “the narcissism of the small difference.”
Living abroad has been one of the biggest personal growth experiences of my life. It’s given me the most unique and memorable experiences of my life. It’s made me smarter, wiser, more tolerant, and more empathetic. And I’m by no means unique in this regard. Just about any world traveler will tell you the same thing.
I highlight this part because the older I get, the more importance I’ve begun putting on travel, and not just business travel: more and more of my free time, money and thinking goes into where in the world I want to go next.
My passport is respectable but wouldn’t be mistaken for diplomat status. I’ve been to England, Ireland, Mexico, The Bahamas and, most recently, Utila Bay-Honduras. What I’ve learned from this travel is my temperament is best suited (so far) in the Western hemisphere close to the equator. Although I was in Utila, a tiny peaceful island with virtually no violent crime, I enjoyed the short time in Honduras on layovers. I found the people friendly, the food good and the experience liberating in many ways.
I’ll continue to go to Utila – I’d like to move there eventually – but Uruguay, Chile, Curacao, and a host of islands are on my radar over the next few years. My home is one filled with books, and my education is fairly broad. The more I live, though, the more I learn through travel. My work affords me the opportunity to travel all over America, which works perfectly – I go places I’d never spend vacation going, which frees up my vacation time to leave the country.
I enjoyed Ireland, but I doubt I go back unless I’m being paid. The Irish were lovely people and it’s a beautiful land, but Europe – at least the part that I was in – just didn’t do it for me. Of the European destinations I’d like to visit, Ibiza is the only one that’s a bucket-list item. I have friends by Amsterdam, so it would be stupid not to visit them at some point before they move back to the States – it’s all choices.
For the introverted me, though, there’s nothing better to get me out of my comfort zone than to get me in a different country and see how the other half live.