Reasons to Travel

So, young person, travel. Travel wide and far. Travel boldly. Travel with full abandon.”
Jeff Goins
in his blog entry “3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young

Jeff goes on to give the following three reasons to travel while you’re young:

  1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure
  2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion
  3. Traveling allows you to get some culture

I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with OSS. Well, if we extend the paradigm to “travel to take up work on international OSS projects” then there are three other reasons why you should jump at these opportunities while you’re unencumbered:

  1. Traveling gives you opportunities you would never otherwise get – On international projects, you are likely to be working with a cut-down team and will be asked to do tasks that you’ve never done before, thus fast-tracking your cross-domain linchpin score like domestic projects just can’t seem to do
  2. Traveling gives you the opportunity to see the pros and cons of different corporate cultures – Each country and each company you work with will have different ways of doing things, some good, some not so good. Take the best and eliminate the worst from your bag of tricks and you become a more multi-dimensional OSS consultant
  3. Travelling gives you the opportunity to communicate in different ways – When you are communicating with people whose native language is not the same as your own, you will find other ways to communicate, be it body language, drawing, sounds, etc. This teaches you to be clearer in your communications when you are speaking with a common language
  4. Sharing stories enhances relationship building – Sharing stories is one means of strengthening your business relationships, particularly if they have major points of interest as international project stories tend to do
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