When traveling I think it’s important to know that “It’s not where your from, it’s where you’re at”. What drove me crazy, when traveling on foreign soil was seeing fellow American tourists act as if everyone is supposed to speak their language and their language only. Part of embracing new experiences is the knowledge you gain along the way when you commit to learning. Learning the language of the country you are going to that is. When I went to Paris, I was fortunate to have a friend show me around the city and who was fluent in French. Oh what peace of mind that was for me! However, I did not want to lean on that entirely. I made it a point to download language apps, research online and make flashcards to familiarize myself with the language so that I can fully embrace and enjoy the whole experience of being in Paris! I took French in high school and it was a dream come true to have finally visited.
There are many resources online and apps that can help you learn a language. I for one am currently studying Japanese and Spanish with Rosetta Stone and supplementing it with other language apps. Japanese you’re wondering…well, when I move back to Hawaii it will actually be a valuable skill just as it was to be in Texas and knowing a little bit of Spanish. Thousands of Japanese tourists flock to Hawaii every year therefore if you work in banking or hospitality, being able to correspond with them will prove to be valuable. If you work for a hotel in Hawaii it can also mean more pay. In addition you’ll be able to communicate with tourists who love your destination. I don’t want to assume, but as a Japanese tourist I’m sure it’s comforting to meet island residents who know how to speak your language.
Same goes to traveling in Europe. They almost all know how to speak English so nothing impresses a native more than an American tourist who knows or tries to speak their language. Believe me, I got a lot of appreciative smiles and nods while in France. “A+” for effort! 😉
So, for the rest of the year, I’d like to challenge you. Learn a new language if not for traveling then personal growth. Resources are at our fingertips with YouTube and its endless tutorials, on anything you can think of. In addition, before social media there have been many places in the world that I’ve never heard of but end up researching. I find myself easily intrigued and wanting to learn more about others background and experiences.
Here are a few language apps that I use, or have used in the past:
Try any or all. It helps to use more than one because the teaching style and formats differ. One might work better than the another but it’s all based on your preference.
Haze- Blue Crush Travel