You imagine yourself on the beach in Hawai, or perhaps somewhere in the Himalayas.
Travelling would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
But you are afraid, terribly afraid.
You never did it before after all.
What if it’s dangerous? What if you don’t understand the language?
Or maybe you don’t have enough money to go.
I was like that too, but then…
Suddenly, after years spent dreaming, I left.
I had just graduated from high-school, I wanted to discover something new. Something completely difference from the place where I grew up, France.
So I went to South Korea.
Let’s be honest, I was completely panicked. Sitting in the plane I wondered “what did I just do?”, “what if I can’t do it?”. HELP.
But you know what? It was awesome, it changed my life. And as cliché as it may sound, the only thing I regret is not to have done it earlier. There are many reasons to travel, don’t hesitate!
What if I don’t have money to travel?
I am not going to lie, although you can considerably lower the costs, travelling does cost money.
The good news is you can find ways to travel with very little money. Or no money at all in some cases. For example you could :
- Go on a volunteering program
- Find a job abroad before you go
- Teach in a school abroad
- Use a crowdfunding website to finance your travel project
Why you should go travel now
Travelling will change you…forever
Travelling will widen your horizons, allow you to discover new cultures, redefine what you consider normal, you might even learn a new language. But most importantly, travelling will change you…forever.
After a few months living abroad in a completely new environment, changes that you thought impossible will happen.
I was incredibly shy in France. So much that I actually feared walking in the street knowing people could see me.
Once I landed in South Korea, everything changed. I was still shy of course, but it didn’t matter anymore.
I quickly realized that many things considered normal in France were strange in South Korea, or downright rude. Blowing your nose in public for example. French people do that all the time, but for Koreans this is absolutely disgusting.
I also noticed that Koreans LOVE cute things and were not afraid to show it. Something that would cause most French people to blush.
It was such a shock! And I thought “since people here think different, I can be myself, they won’t care”. And so I did. For the first time in 18 years of life, I felt like I was really being myself.
I met a lot of people, learnt about things I didn’t even know existed, and had more fun than I ever thought I could have.
Travelling is the best way to learn a language
Like most readers of French Together, you probably learn French, or another language.
You probably know too that travelling is one of the best way to learn a language.
Unlike traditional academic learning, travelling gives you the opportunity to learn and practice immediately. You get to learn the language directly where it’s spoken. It has numerous advantages :
- You learn a language the way it’s spoken in the country. often times, books and online courses teach you a very formal language, with expressions that are rarely used by native speakers. When you learn in the country, you know that the words you hear and learn are used by natives.
- You get instant feedback and memorize better. When you learn on your own, nobody tells you what’s wrong. Sure you can compare your pronunciation to what you hear, but it’s not always working. On the other hand, when you speak a language abroad, you get instant feedback. It can be intimidating at first, but it’s the best way to learn a language. After all, you want to learn a language to speak it, don’t you?
- It’s fun. Sure you will make many mistakes, but it’s fun and all these mistakes will soon be things you laugh about.
Please, stop dreaming your life, live your dreams and go travel now! You won’t regret it!
Over to you
Why do you travel? Tell us in the comments below!