A friend passed this video advertisement along to me today. Trust me, it’s worth the three minutes.
It’s in Spanish, but the general message is easy to grasp even even if you can’t understand the words. The video depicts a futuristic middle-aged executive sitting at his desk when his assistant brings him a package. The box contains a video diary the executive made when he was a young man traveling in Peru for his future self. It’s as if he predicted as a young man he would a have successful business career, but forget about the adventures, relationships and memories he created during his international adventures. The young man walks his older self through the adventures they (he?) had. The young man then tells him, “If you’re happy, turn this video off.” The executive keeps it running. The young man then slyly says, “Ah, I see we are still here.” He reminds himself to maintain a balance in his life: find time for friends, continue learning and that he must create the succession of moments that constitute his life.
This video perfectly captures why I wanted to blog about my post-study abroad experiences. For one, I want to help those who go after me have the best experience they can. It’s easy to get caught up in the logistical details of going abroad and forget the big picture. Secondly, this is a mental exercise for me to continually challenge myself and others use those international experiences, insights and memories to make something more of the work we do when we return.
As an almost-graduate, I’m at a time in my life where I have to make some decisions about what shape I want my career track to take, where I want to live and how I see my life playing out in the future. It’s overly romantic to think my career will always lead me to foreign and exotic places. But even in the most velveeta-cheese-and-white-bread location, I can look at the world as I did when I was abroad and continue to ask questions, be curious and learn.