On a recent trip to Mexico, my family and I took a snorkeling trip off the resort where we were staying. It was a great time and we needed to get back. Since the regular transportation was not available, we decided to get a local cab to take us back to the resort.
We loaded all of our gear into the trunk of the small vehicle and got in. I told the gentleman where we were going and he looked at me with no understanding in his eyes. I told him again, louder, in English. He spoke back to me…in Spanish. The trip went like this through wrong turns and adventure until we, finally, got back on the right road and made it back.
It’s funny to look back on now. At the time, not so much.
At that point I made a deal with myself that I would work to become more competent in Spanish. I love to travel there but I have never made it a point to work on learning that language. Shame on me.
Learning a new language is a great way to build bridges. It will be scary and you will fail a LOT. But most often, native speakers are more than happy to help you learn through your stumbles. In addition, it is an amazing way to activate your brain in new ways. Oh, and it doesn’t matter what language. If you want to learn German, Chinese, or Coding, the learning benefits are the same.
It’s a process. But I am confident that on my next trip to Mexico I will be able to say:
“Me gustaría ir a mi hotel.”
I am working on it.