Saturday, June 20, 2009

Move Abroad and Get Creative

A recent article in the Economist cited a study that found people who live in foreign countries tend to be more creative and do better when it comes to difficult negotiations.  Is this true?  Blogger Oye Rubia thinks so and chalks it up to having to speak a foreign language.  But is it merely a question of linguistics, or is there more to it?

From my personal experience, I'd say this creativity has more to do with the freedom of thought that comes with moving to a foreign land.  Basic assumptions about life are challenged by new experiences, showing us that there is more than one way to do things. Suddenly the simplest task can become a completely different experience, triggering a whole new thought process as we compare our new life to the one we left, and learn that there is no better or worse - only different.  While without the comfortable surroundings of our past, we are forced to get out and experience life, rather than settle into a daily routine of letting it pass us by.  So by the end of even the most unadventurous day, our minds are full of sights, sounds and smells that they wouldn't have been otherwise, stimulating our thoughts and changing our perceptions, which in turn opens up all new ways of looking at things and thus inspiring creativity.


  1. Nice! Yes, very true that, as I have been finding out.

  2. I recently had to move to Barcelona as part of my job. One of the most complicated and annoying things I had to take care of was where to find housing. I can speak some Spanish, but I'm not fluent by any means. I also knew little about the area (what to do, where to eat, where to work out, you get the idea). Anyway, just thought I'd share this place I came across that helped make the finding housing aspect of my transition MUCH easier - BornLiving ( Very reputable company with a knowledgeable and friendly staff who spoke a variety of languages.