Intercultural engagement

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Visiting Australia was mind broadening experience for me. There are lots of things I enjoyed about being there – the outdoor lifestyle, the intercultural mix of the cities, the way that names of places and certain other features reminded me of being in the UK. If Australia wasn’t so far away from the rest of the world, I would want to live there. The thought that I would have to reinvent myself almost totally, if I did choose to relocate, was attractive in some ways, but I didn’t want to lock away so much of my past. Who would visit me from Europe, Africa or the Americas if I lived there? It would be expensive to maintain a strong connection with the life I had built for myself up to that point.

You can probably surmise from these thoughts and feelings that I visited Australia in the days before Skype, Instant Messaging and all the gizmos that so many of us are currently accustomed to. Perhaps it wouldn’t feel quite as drastic to make that move, with the communication tools now available. I am of the opinion however, that one should only relocate to another country at a time in life when one is still figuring things out about important matters such as one’s calling, etc.

Discovering new places, making new friends and acquaintances and remaining curious about life in general are probably helpful in maintaining robust mental health. Those of us who had to learn about varied ways of seeing the world at an early age are likely to carry that sensibility through to later stages in life, thus having the inclination to explore a wide range of possibilities in thinking outside of the box, for example.

Those who feel secure in their insular ways also have benefits to derive from the focused terms of reference that they adhere to. It takes all sorts to make the world.

Looking at the choices being made by the current US president, it is obvious however, that his predecessor was more adept at handling the give and take energies required to maintain harmonious relations with folks from diverse cultures, possibly due to his childhood experiences of having an international and intercultural upbringing.