Pia and Jimmy undertook the ultimate vacation, traveling much of the length of South America by bike, while learning Spanish, of course! Check out all six episodes of their journey here.
1. Unlock new cultures
Learning a language helps you appreciate a new culture in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. Whether it’s absorbing yourself in the works of a country’s most famous poets or just appreciating the daily lives of the people around you, knowing some of the local language gives you an insider’s view into the country you are visiting. If you’re only speaking English, you’re just skimming the surface!
2. Order what you want to eat
Do you want bouillabaisse or bolognese? Sure, you can point at an item on the menu and smile sheepishly while the waiter reads what you want, but being able to communicate what you’d like to eat — or even asking for a recommendation — will prevent confusion, and turn your meal into an unforgettable experience.
3. You don’t have to be fluent
A lot of people become overwhelmed by the idea of mastering a whole new language for what should be a relaxing trip. Don’t pressure yourself! You don’t have to discuss philosophy, you just need enough to get by. Even being able to say, “Sorry, I don’t speak Italian,” can be a huge help! Locals will appreciate the effort you’re putting in to talk to them in their own language, regardless of how much (or little) you say.
4. Make getting around easy
Traveling can already be a nightmare, so anything to grease the wheels when you’re abroad is sure to pay off. It doesn’t take a lot to nail down some language basics that will save you time and money on vacations that are all too brief and all too expensive already! Plus you won’t have to go around asking everyone for directions like an uber-tourist.
5. Find unexpected connections
It says a lot about you as a traveler if you take the time to learn new phrases in a foreign language. It says that you want to explore and learn, that you aren’t just there for photos and to tick items off of a list. Travel is all about the experiences and people you meet; and there’s no better way to enhance both than through learning a new language.
6. It’s fun!
If you have any affinity for your vacation spot, its quirks and customs will grow on you. You’ll find you want to become a part of the atmosphere and say the little things like “Prost!” or “Ciao!” Like learning a language, traveling isn’t just about studying other cultures as if they’re other species —it’s about discovering a new part of yourself.
7. It’s not as difficult as you think
Hi, did you notice that it’s 2016? You don’t have to torture yourself with textbooks, classrooms, or clumsy cassettes and CD’s. And you don’t have to become a multilingual mastermind overnight. You just have to take the first step and let yourself float down the language stream!
Ready to take that first step? Babbel is an intuitive language learning app that’s helped over a million current users speak real-life conversations from their very first lessons. Available on all mobile devices and designed around bite-sized 10 minute lessons, Babbel is the most convenient and effective way to learn a language, no matter how near or far away you are from your vacation!