Some people are always attracted to the distance. They want to live abroad, they want to travel the world , they want to get to know foreign cultures.
Those who prefer to stay home often wonder why these people always have to look for themselves.
As a new study, published in the journal “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes”, suggests, it is precisely these restless people who are more likely to find themselves in the end.
Rice University researchers, working with Columbia University and the University of North Carolina, have concluded that those who have spent time in a foreign country have “a clearer self-concept.” They have a better sense of who they are.
“The shortest way to oneself leads around the world”
The researchers studied six studies with 1,874 participants from the US and an MBA program. People were interviewed, some who lived abroad and others who had never lived in another country.
The result: those who have lived abroad reflect much more about their own existence – presumably because he or she had to deal with foreign cultural values and norms.
“In a world where it is becoming increasingly easier to emigrate to foreign countries and technological advances make traveling and communication easier, research must also look at what these experiences do to us humans,” the authors write.
They cite the German philosopher Hermann von Keyserling, who wrote in his “Travel Journal of a Philosopher” as early as 1919: “The shortest way to oneself leads around the world.”
Not only do researchers assume that people are more understanding of their own lives, but also generally have higher levels of satisfaction, less stress and better job performance when they spend a lot of time abroad. They should also know more about which career they want to pursue.
Especially if you do not know yet, where you want to work in the future or what you should do with your life at all, it is definitely worth considering a year abroad.