In the first aliyah of Parshas Vayeitzei, Yaakov is on the run from his home. Even though Yaakov was leaving Eretz Yisroel, he was not subject to the curse of the earth. He knew that Hashem is there, all of the way, anywhere--therefore, he was able to expand outside of Eretz Yisrael. In Eretz Yisrael, it is easier to see the connection with Hashem. Yaakov shows us that even in golus (exile), it is possible to bring Hashem's presence down to this earth.