This house maintains that living abroad makes you a more interesting person.
To live abroad successfully you have to be adaptable and open to new ways of thinking. Your worldview is cracked wide open, if not totally destroyed and forced into a new configuaration. It’s a symbolic death, such as one experienced by the hero. Out here is other stimuli. There are Others. You realize it is you who are the others. Your preconceieved notions need another reinvention. Your old persona fails you, you go deeper than ego and find your real Self. You eat food like feet and brains; you discover, after much experimentation, that cheeseburgers make you truly, deeply happy. The process is about change and choices. Sometimes your preferences remain your preferences, other times you realize you’d never seen a sunset until you left the old sun behind. Seeing things from a different perspective you find commonalities as well as strangenesses that inform your choices for the rest of your days. If you don’t laugh you’ll die from the acute pain of being foreign and never fully understanding, or maybe that is just what is keeping you sane. You become a more interesting person though the act of molting and this is never more concentrated and compulsory than when you are living in a country that is not your own.
Living abroad doesn’t make you more interesting, though being interesting might compel you to seek new homes in foreign lands. A person who is dull is dull in Bismarck or Byzantium. If you are bland and unaffected you will come home from an adventure with nothing to add. If you are clever and curious and creative you can imagine the Amazon in your own backyard. Staying close to home you cultivate roots, you begin to embody the land on which you are standing and understand the footprints of your ancestors and elders. You may do the same thing a thousand times and yet each time it is slightly varied; you learn through repetition and the revelation of a slight alteration. In your own country you must confront opinions you find laughable, you stay and fight for what you feel in your bones is the right. You develop character. Passion becomes action, which creates change. You do not flee from fate and are never bored, because you know that boredom will chase you no matter how far you run. Living abroad you may collect trinkets from other countries, you can swell with false importance that you have occult knowledge of the world. But an interesting person is more than a catalogue of souvenirs. Because it is a quality, a power that comes from within.