I commenced my quest to learn Spanish in January 2014, where I attended my first language school on the spectacular shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. I spent the next 6 months exploring the colourful cultures of Latin America and combined travel (backpacking, seeing the sights, avoiding a runny tummy) with language learning. Some people will tell you that it’s not possible to learn a language when you’re surrounded by English speakers in hostels. However, I want to emphasise that it is possible to gain a really good grasp of a language whilst you travel. A lot of it is about the motivation to learn the language and how much you attempt to speak it.
Last year I moved to Madrid and experienced learning Spanish in a entirely new environment. I worked at a very traditional Spanish school and lived with two lovely Spanish girls. Like Latin America, Spain has so much to offer in terms of culture and things to do. Despite speaking English in my job, I really improved my Spanish language skills outside of work thanks to the friendliness of local people and my great flatmates. I also met my boyfriend, who is from Chile, and this definitely made a positive difference to my level of Spanish.
I knew absolutely no Spanish when I started out and I spent part of my journey wondering whether I would ever be able to converse in the language … now I live in Chile… and I speak it most of the time!