We all have bucket lists of some sort. I know I do, and I still have a million things to cross out! Whether it’s skydiving, finishing an Ironman or volunteering in another country, my bucket list seems to grow and grow everytime I conquer something and cross it out. One of the items on my bucket list is the thing I always wanted to do ever since I started travelling, and that’s to learn Spanish. Being bilingual is pretty cool, or so I’ve heard. Knowing how to read, speak and write in another language can open more opportunities for you both professionally and socially.
My main reason: Spain!
There are a million reasons to study Spanish. Mine was pretty simple and straightforward: I wanted to learn Spanish for our planned trip to Spain. I wanted to be able to enjoy the trip more, and have a better and wider outlook when it comes to openly communicating with the local residents. I wanted to learn Spanish so I could fly there and start a conversation with anybody!
I also felt that at least one of us needed to know how to speak Spanish so we won’t get lost as much and make new friends easier. I mean, what better way to travel and experience a country than to hook up with some of the residents! They know all the best spots: the hidden beaches, the best food and the best deals you won’t find in any guidebook.
The Advantages of Learning Spanish
- There are 350 million native Spanish speakers in the world. If you choose to visit Spain or South America, you can talk to a lot of them. If you live in the US, you can easily communicate with the growing number of Spanish-speakers.
- If you know how to speak Spanish, your travels to Spanish speaking countries will be an incredible adventure. Get to know the locals just by talking to them. Get to know their culture and traditions in a way that doesn’t get lost in translation. You will appreciate the country you’re visiting more if you have a firm grasp of the language spoken there.
- Learning Spanish also has health benefits. Studies have shown that bilinguals and multi-lingual people have lower occurrences of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia wherein test subjects have been observed as to have slower early onset symptoms of the disease.
- Learning Spanish will also make you better in your native language. Why? Because your brain will continually have a ping pong match with itself, translating words and phrases back and forth to check and double check if it’s correct. You’ll be using your native language as an auto-correct feature. Pretty cool if you ask me!
- Knowing how to speak Spanish will also broaden your horizons and open up your universe. You can now watch Spanish movies and read books written in Spanish. Never be limited again by your native tongue. If you run a business or are part of one that has ties to Spanish speaking countries, you’ll need professional translation services less because you can do it yourself if you’re competent enough and have an understanding of all idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms.
I can’t wait to travel to Spain and experience the Mediterranean lifestyle I keep reading about and hearing from friends who’ve been there. They say it’s a magical place full of warm people and warm weather. No wonder it’s one of the most sought after destinations for most Northern Europeans and Americans! But, unlike most of my compatriots, when I go to Spain, I’ll be armed with an extra tool to make our vacation more exciting, and that’s the ability to speak Spanish.