Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why YOU Should Take a Gap Year

I've had a long absence from blogging, and this article, "Why Tina Fey Should Have Taken a Gap Year," from the Huffington Post caught my attention.

Unlike Tina Fey, I did this by becoming an exchange student after I graduated from high school just over 20 years ago. That year in Denmark changed my life.  The benefit was that even though I went without knowing a soul, I was still under supervision of the exchange program and my host family.

The key is finding a well-managed program or project that has the ability to respond to emergencies and the various emotional and physical challenges that can occur when you're away from your comfort zone.

My year in Denmark was a year full of highs and lows, but nonetheless, one that changed the focus of my life forever.  I have never been able to survive a normal work life in a cubicle or otherwise, hence the reason I have been living in Cambodia on and off since 2003.

It's vital for young people to leave their countries/hometowns for at least 3 months and experience a different way of life to confront their in-grown worldviews and see the world differently no matter where they come from.

Since that year in Denmark in 1992-93, my life has never been the same, and I like it like that!

I live outside the "bubble" and push the boundaries of my comfort zone.  I force myself to do this in order to confront the assumed beliefs and perspectives that I grew up with due to being born in the United States, and more specifically in a small town on the Central Coast of California.

My logic and world view is constantly being challenged, and I've learned to be OK with that.  Can you say the same?

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