How Learning a Language Benefits your Travel Experience

Today we are thrilled to welcome a guest blogger: Aaron Myers of The Everyday Language Learner. Aaron’s website is full of great resources for helping people learn language; in fact I used his system, and wrote about it, myself. 

Most serial travelers have their go to list of resources to make the travel experience the best it can be.

There’s the favorite guide book.  The perfect carry-on luggage.  The right camera.  That lucky pair of pants that always get you through security.

Aaron and his family in Turkey

Aaron and his family in Turkey

You’ve figured out how to manipulate the frequent flyer miles programs to your greatest advantage and are a pro at finding the best lodging for your needs. You’ve assembled a veritable tool box of resource and ideas and in most aspects of your journeys into new adventures, you’ve got things dialed in.

You are saving money and time because you’ve taken charge and learned the ropes – sometimes through experience and at other times by learning from travelers like Shelley and Keith here at How To Travel For Free or from their book.

Experience is a great teacher; in fact, C.S. Lewis reminded us just how important it is when he quipped, “Experience: that most brutal of teachers.  But you learn, my God do you learn.

That experience is a great teacher is something we can probably all agree on, but to add to that, in a lot of circumstances, like those having to do with pain or our finances, I think we can all also agree that we’d much rather learn from someone else’s experiences. That’s why you keep coming back to travel blogs and why you’ll consider picking up Shelley and Keith’s book.

But there is one thing that many who write about traveling, that the travel forums and online expat communities often overlook – learning the local language.

IMG_3555There is a dearth of good writing by travelers about their language learning journey.  And I understand why – language is a means to an end, a way to experience a place more deeply, more fully but the process of learning itself holds no real charm. And we tend not to repeat experiences that were difficult or painful in our past and the unfortunate reality of most foreign language classrooms that we’ve experienced, is both difficult and painful.

But most of us want to learn the language – or languages – of the countries we are traveling to and through.  We intuitively understand how much it would enhance the overall experience and if you don’t understand that yet, stop by and read Greek, Turkish and What Knowing the Language Can Do for Your Travel Experience.

We can learn about learning languages from our own experience or from the experience of others, the way Shelley did when she dove back into Spanish. To many travelers know of only one thing when it comes to learning another language though and that is language school.  This can be a great place to start, but it brings with it many challenges, least of which is the cost.

If you are like me though, you at times get bored.  You’re teacher has asked you to translate again.  You’ve gone through Rosetta Stone one to many times.  If you see another flashcard, you may just be sick.

Repetition it is said is the mother of all learning – and repetition is indeed a huge ingredient to mastering another language.  But there is that other saying that makes life interesting enough to keep at it – Variety is the spice of life!

5My passion is to help people achieve their goal to learn another language.  To do this you’ll need both repetition and variety but it is variety that seems to be the missing ingredient for most language learners. And that is why I compiled 56 great articles – most of which share specific language learning activities – into one ebook.

These are activities that you can use in your personal study time, in times of one on one interaction with a native speaker and to help you make your time out in the community more effective and fun.

Until February 20th, I’ll be giving this big bundle of variety away for FREE from The Everyday Language Learner blog.  It’s my new ebook called Activities and Strategies for Everyday Language Learners

[click here to get your copy of Activities and Strategies for FREE]

Is it really free?  Well, it will actually cost you a tweet or a share but that’s just to help spread the word.

So stop by and pick it up today and allow me to help take the brutality out of your language learning experience.

IMG_0445Aaron Myers is a language coach and writer at The Everyday Language Learner where he helps regular people have more fun learning another language.  He is the author of numerous guides about language learning and can be found on Twitter, Facebook or at Youtube.


About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."
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