I liked learning Spanish. A lot. Not because it was easy (it wasn't). Maybe because it's the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm not a "natural" language learner--if such a thing exists. Every word I know and every sentence that comes out smoothly when I talk has hundreds, or maybe thousands, of incomprehensible attempts at… Continue reading Learning a New Language: Not Even Once
There's something about being in a foreign country that exaggerates the good and bad of interpersonal relationships; perhaps we make crazier decisions or maybe we see their impact more clearly in unfamiliar situations. Whatever it is, I feel I've learned a lot of the type of lessons that can't be taught, only experienced. I have… Continue reading Interpersonal Relationships; Lessons Learned in Costa Rica, Part I
When I came to Costa Rica, I sacrificed my ability to express myself properly so I could learn a new language. When I returned to the U.S. at the end of last year, I learned there was just a bit of a backlash in returning my own tongue. I discovered gaps I had never realized existed… Continue reading Irreplaceable Spanish Words
The picture above is my host family and me on my host dad's birthday (hint: I'm the blonde). Judging from the shirts, it was also game day (yeah Heredia!). This is Part III of a post about the reality of living with a host family. You can read Part I about my first impression of… Continue reading Being Someone Else’s Daughter; Living with a Host Family, Part III
My first week of my second semester in Costa Rica was not at all like my terrifying first week of school last semester. It wasn't that circumstances changed; it was that I had changed. This semester, I am taking three regular courses through the university and two Spanish classes for extranjeros. My three regular classes… Continue reading I Feel Like a Real Person!
Obviously. Somehow I had this subconscious assumption that the only real difference between study abroad and backpacking would be no homework to worry about. In reality, though, I wouldn't even put them in the same category--they don't have much in common, other than travel. The biggest difference is the types of relationships you make. One… Continue reading Backpacking is Nothing Like Study Abroad
"Which way are you going?" "I go to Calle 0 and take a right to get home." "Calle 0?? Where's that?" "You know, it's the one that ends in Central Park." "What?" "It's maybe, I don't know, 5 blocks down?" "5 blocks." "Yeah, you turn right like 100 meters after the Pregnant Women Park." "Well,… Continue reading Second Star to the Right, and Straight on Till Morning; Getting Directions from a Tico