One of the best things about being abroad or even just away for a bit is that it provides you with the unique opportunity to reflect and grow. In fact just today my boss was quoted in the Guardian (UK newspaper) as saying just that:
Because we’re in an unfamiliar environment, we will often have our eyes wider open and simply be more open to learning
Sometimes it can seem like shorter term “away” experiences are more powerful as we are completely able to set aside or typical lives. The funny thing about being here for 1-2 years is that it does, on some level, become “typical.” Even though it’s *India*; I have an office job in which I’m pretty much on the computer and in meetings all day; I live in a big city not drastically different from the one I left; and I still go to festivals, yoga, and bars on the weekends. Sometimes I’ve wondered whether Bombay is *different* enough to spur dramatic personal growth.
What I like about my growth here is that I think it will be more permanent. The danger with short term, completely extraordinary experiences is that when you go back to your original environment, it can be hard to apply and maintain whatever personal transformation you may have experienced. I am confident that I will generally be able to remain the person that I become here when I return home since I am practicing so much of what I’m learning in contexts (such as an office) that I will also face when I come home.