Why did you learn English?
I learned the language so that I could connect with the people around me; So that I could ask questions to better my understanding of experiences; So that I could enjoy my life. And are these not the crucial elements when it comes to traveling?
Trust me. Learn a Language.
Push through the tedious hours of study. Eventually have your first conversations that aren’t formulated of words picked from thin air. The sounds will begin to take forms that follow one another. It will start to make sense. There is a blanket of knowledge wrapping around you. You feel warm inside when you do right in this foreign tongue. You thirst for more bits and pieces of the puzzle.
Believe me. Learn a Language.
If you’ve learned the jargon of where you want to go, you are only then free to immerse yourself. You go to a place where you can marinate fully in not just the sounds and songs and idiomatic expressions, but the people and the colors and smells that make the language something even more than a set of characters written out in a certain order.
Honestly. Learn a Language.
It is only then that every day, every second, provides a new opportunity to trip and stumble into a new level of understanding—of a fluid ability to express oneself. When traveling to a new place it is not you entering a new place, it is a place welcoming you into its arms. Be gracious and do what you can to be a kind house guest. Language is where it all begins.
Listen to me. Learn a Language.
Hail a cab, ask for help, count to ten, inquire the time, start conversation, get directions, find a party, learn to cook, promise to return, talk to strangers, book a hotel, celebrate holidays, describe a lost bag, help a new friend, give thank you gifts, joke around, listen to music, chat on the bus, fall in love, establish yourself.
You know how? Learn a Language.