Tag Archives: travel

Best Things I’ve Done: Learning A New Language.

Update! For an in-depth guide on getting started with languages, check out How To Become A Polyglot.

I first started learning English in school at the age of 6 and French at the age of 12, but I never became fluent in any of those languages until I finally understood the real benefits of speaking those languages.

The moment I realised I really wanted to become fluent in English was when I was watching Blade Runner in said language with Spanish subtitles and I understood one line they said, then read the subtitle line and said “but it’s not the same thing he said!”. In that moment I noticed that there are certain thoughts and messages that can only be expressed in one language. Every time I watch now a film in English with subtitles (when I watch it with someone else) I can see the subs say the same thing the characters say, but it’s not quite the same thing. Many deep levels of film lines are lost in translation.

But then it hit me even harder: “Wait. What about books? All my favourite books are in English!”. Now I really, really had to learn English.

The same thing happened to me with French. I wanted to read Jules Verne and many other writers as they originally intended their thoughts and words. I don’t want to risk missing anything. I don’t believe in translations any more. Lately, I’ve been thinking how great it would be to read Solaris in Polish. It’s one of my favourite novels so it might be worth it.

But there’s one more wonderful thing about foreign languages. It’s the moment you realize you can actually think in a different language. You have to experience that (it sounds like Also Sprach Zarathustra and it feels like awesome). no more translating word-by-word in your head before speaking. Now you are expressing yourself with a whole new set of words and even different rules. Along the lines of the previous idea, you are thinking differently. Such a great brain exercise, isn’t it? You may even be able to express ideas you couldn’t express before. The more languages you speak, the better you understand yourself. It’s like learning new vocabulary, but in a whole new level: learning new syntaxes.

Also, you feel like you understand something you previously didn’t. When you translate in a language word-by-word, you don’t quite think of it as anything more than a different set of words, but when you use it in your head, to think, it’s an eureka moment. That set of strange words and rules finally make sense.

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Filed under Personal Development

5 Steps to Adventure

It’s not hard, but you must look for them. I have come up with this formula I hope you dear readers will help me improve:

1. Have the right mindset:

You must have a desire for adventure, a child’s curiosity for what’s out there. You have to be an explorer.

2. Travel:

You will not get any excitement out of life by sitting quietly at home day after day. Although the further you go, the greater the sense of adventure; it’s perfectly fine to go exploring the nearest city. William Bolitho said “adventure must start with running away from home”.

3. Do not follow the crowds:

I can’t emphasize this point strongly enough. You do not get adventures by doing what everyone else does. A planned tour is nice but not an adventure: it’s a planned, safe, common activity. Go exploring. If something calls your attention ask questions, explore, figure out answers. Do not be a tourist.

4. Don’t go by yourself:

This is not a must, but will surely enrich your experience. Also, you don’t want to be alone if you get in serious trouble. A friend or loved one makes an excellent companion, although if you’re alone in your chosen destination it’s a great chance to make new friends. Also, a local may know some great places to go.

5. Say YES:

If someone offers you to go camping in the woods, to the beach, wherever, say yes. If someone is looking for an adventure partner, volunteer. Do not deny an activity because of these things:

-Not being good enough: People who ask you to go sailing with them truly do not care if you can tie a knot.

-Considering the activity boring: You never know if something is boring until you try.

-Not being what you usually do: Trying new stuff is one of the greatest things in life!

-Considering the activity too dangerous: Do a little research or ask someone who knows about the subject if you meet the physical requirements to be safe. If you do not, make that your new goal 🙂 However, you are probably exaggerating: If you can swim, crossing a river should be no trouble, and so on. Remember also that every adventure involves a little risk!

That was all, thanks for reading 🙂

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