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26 Things You Can Learn by Living Abroad for a Year

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26 Things You Can Learn by Living Abroad for a Year

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  1. 26 Things You Can Learn by Living Abroad for a Year What I learned and how it changed me Etienne Garbugli Product Design & Marketing Consultant

  2. What I did. // Itinerary.

  3. I moved to Beijing in January 2011 Note: The plane probably doesn’t go in this direction. :) I arrived in Hong Kong in October 2010 I moved to Singapore in July 2011 I moved back to Canada in October 2011

  4. Why I did it. // Objectives.

  5. To evaluate if where I was born is where I wanted to live To travel To take some distance To experience life somewhere else To meet people To come up with a great business idea To learn To discover and understand another culture To work on myself To get some experience working abroad To take a step back and discover what I want to do

  6. What I learned. // Life lessons.

  7. 1 It’s fairly easy to move and take a new place as your home

  8. 2 It’s also easy to meet people

  9. 3 Some relationships last, others are just circumstantial

  10. 4 Expat friends are easy to find. Local friends much harder

  11. 5 Without speaking the language, it’s hard to fully understand and integrate a culture

  12. 6 It’s also very hard to avoid isolation

  13. 7 But, you’ll never be as local as the local people; keep your identity

  14. 8 People are surprisingly nice and helpful everywhere

  15. 9 But, sense of humor & metaphors can easily be misunderstood

  16. You soon realize that being abroad changes your perspective of where you come from 10

  17. And that life goes on with (or without) you 11

  18. We don’t change too much when travelling but, things change even less back home 12

  19. You’ll probably miss your friends and family; it’s much harder to center your life without them 13

  20. But, having things or people waiting for you somewhere else makes it easy to give up 14

  21. Comfort comes when you get your own place 15

  22. But, like everywhere else, routine sets in as you work 16

  23. And you realize that it’s hard to have time AND money to travel no matter where you are 17

  24. AND that, being close to a destination does not necessarily mean you’ll actually get to see it 18

  25. Abroad, the most dangerous thing is the downward spiral; when everything starts to suck 19

  26. It can be frustrating dealing with and understanding people from another culture but, people are rarely racist 20

  27. It’s just naturally harder to trust and understand people from another culture 21

  28. Since we naturally see things through our own culture’s eyes 22

  29. Which doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be friends with people from your home culture (many seem to think so) 23

  30. But, ultimately, there’s good and bad things everywhere; maybe another city would suit you better 24

  31. Moving away is not about having fears or not; it’s about how well you face your fears… 25

  32. Life is more flexible than we think; with enough work, almost everything in life can be changed 26

  33. Thank you. Answer ? Phone 514-298-7102 Email etienne@leanb2bbook.com No No Yes Availabl e to meet? Enough info? Yes Yes No Etienne Garbugli Product Design Consultant Blog leanb2bbook.com Twitter @egarbugli LinkedIn /in/egarbugli