Travel Tip of the Week – Be Heard

Despite it being so awesome being thrown in an unfamiliar language while abroad, it is still nice to take a weekend repose back to your mother tongue.

I love speaking Italian, reading the beautiful language, and listening to it around me. Those of you who are in other countries like Spain, Germany, France, among all the other great languages of Europe can agree with me (except those of you in Prague, because let’s face it, if you weren’t born in a Slavic speaking country, it’s probably difficult).

When I studied abroad two years ago, I made efforts to learn the language everyday. It was new and I was curious. I am sure you all feel the same. Bill Bryson, the greatest travel writer ever once said that the great part of being in a country with a new language is feeling like you are 4 years old again. You can’t understand what all the adults around you are saying. It’s tranquil bliss. As exciting as it can be, sometimes you need a break from misunderstanding, being misunderstood, and having to dedicate so much energy to deciphering directions.

My sostare (that mean “break” or “rest” in Italian), came when I visited Ireland. Sure Irish English can be hard to understand, and yea some places still speak Gaelic, but for the first time during my semester abroad I was able to have a full conversation with the locals. We could make fun of each other, talk about sports, and discuss cultural difference on a new level. Best of all, I knew when I was ordering cow brain at a restaurant as opposed to thinking it was chicken.

If at any point during your time abroad, you begin to feel this same sensation, I will tell you to go to Ireland; it was where I found my words, until the Cliffs of Mohr left me speechless. I promise that was not meant to be cliché, But in truth, any other place that speaks the same language as you will suffice. For me it was Ireland, but it could have been London or Glasgow. So if you are feeling like you need a break, need to know you are understood, just know that your beloved mother language is only a few hours away….

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