I am going to try to just write… practice writing, everyday. Instead of worrying about long blog posts I am just going to write shorter (maybe!) blurbs about my day or what I’ve noticed or what is going on around me… stay tuned and lets see if I can make it happen!
I was in Medellin, Colombia in April, and was chatting with a girlfriend of mine and she commented to me that she was impressed at how much my Spanish had improved in the year since I had been there last. I thanked her and we moved on in the conversation…
But when I got home, Hmmm… That really made me think. I had hardly spoken Spanish at all for the past year. I was in Spain for three days, and met some guys in Berlin who were from Spain, but other than the usual “in my head, with myself” conversations in Spanish, I had definitely not practiced much Spanish in the past year. Certainly not more than when I had been in Costa Rica (where I was living before I went to Medellin the first time, met my friend, and first spoke with her.)
So, what was the deal?
After living in more countries where I could NOT understand the language than countries where I could… places where the writing is so different you can’t even sort of figure it out… I was back in a place that I KNEW.
I know the language, I mostly know the culture. I think I was just like- wow! This is great! This is EASY compared to what I have been doing for a year. And Geesh, if I can make my way with not knowing anything about the language and culture of a country, then I can certainly manage to JUST DO IT here in Medellin!
I just think I had this newly revived, newly minted even, stronger sense of confidence. Traveling to so many places; so many places so very different than I am used to, really strengthened me. Made me even more confident and even stronger than I realized.
My Spanish improving was a “symptom/sign” of how I have changed. It was something I just ran towards with open arms because I was confident enough to do it. Something I can look at and realize it is a way that this journey of travel and exploration has changed me.
Has travel changed you in any way?