There are many benefits to living overseas, but among the most valuable is the ability to dislocate yourself from your timeworn surroundings. The typical cadence of our daily behaviors – driving down 280 every morning or getting a burger at SuperDuper before closing – suddenly and irrevocably disappear, and our minds suddenly become more active in seeking the stability of the regular.

That awareness extends to analyzing our previous environment, particularly under the questioning of others who have never lived such a life. This was my experience last week, when I discussed life in Silicon Valley to an audience of Korean entrepreneurs, many of whom have never experienced a spirited startup ecosystem. Even though they had never visited, all had perspectives on Silicon Valley, some of which were far divergent from the day-to-day reality of working in the Bay Area. Particularly appreciated were discussions of little microcosms of activity that aren’t generally…

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