How to Become Fluent in Spanish (and Other Languages)

I'm determined to become fluent in Spanish, and I'm close. Here's how I'm doing it, with some useful tools and resources.

How to Become Fluent in Spanish (and Other Languages) How to Become Fluent in Spanish (and Other Languages)

Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2013 Income

Financially sustainable travel is a delicate balancing act between managing income and expenses on the road. Here is an explanation of my 2013 income.

Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2013 Income Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2013 Income

Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2013

Here's my full uncensored cost of full-time travel in 2013 - an expensive and rough year for me; testament to life happening we're while busy making plans.

Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2013 Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2013

I suck at languages (at least so I thought). After 12 years of learning French in school, you’d think I could stretch more than a few words together. (I can’t). Despite this handicap, I’m determined to become fluent in Spanish – and I’m almost there! Here’s how:

 

Determination

My unwavering determination unto itself is a big part of my ability to become fluent, according to Benny Lewis (known in some circles as “Benny the Irish Polyglot”), who teaches people to become Fluent in 3 Months. He literally lands in a country and is speaking like a local in three months (and speaking with locals in less than three days). One of his secrets? You have to want it. Learning a language is work, and it takes determination to put in the hard yards required.

 

Practice (Even if it’s Easier to Speak English)

When I was first in Peru, I was staying in an area heavy with expats and visitors from all over the world. Thus the common language was often not Spanish – but English. It was almost too easy to not speak Spanish; a sure-fire way to never become fluent. I was staying next to a fellow from Spain (but whose English was impeccable); for myself and others, it took discipline to speak Spanish with him, since it was quicker and easier to just do it in English. Without practice though, you’ll never become fluent. You have to throw yourself into it and speak as much as you possibly can, even if the person you’re speaking with also speaks English.

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A Week-In-The-Life of Derek Freal: Locked Up Abroad!

by Nora Dunn on October 20, 2014

Derek FrealDerek Freal said goodbye to a promising corporate career in the United States in 2009 to transverse the globe. Eventually realizing he’d never be able to return to a normal job and chase the “American Dream” again, Derek began travel writing as a way to inspire, educate and motivate others — both on where to go, what to do, and what not to do.

After several return trips back to his home country he sold all of his possessions to live the life of a permanent nomad. Five years and two dozen countries later, Derek has become a self-described “cultural enthusiast” and advocate of slow travel, taking the time to learn and embrace the local way of life. His primary country of specialty is Indonesia.

Following is an intense week-in-the-life of Derek as he finds himself locked up in Indonesia, facing deportation because of a Tweet he sent out that caught the attention of the Indonesian government. Read on to find out what happened to him when initially locked up; at the end you’ll find an even more intense twist to the story, along with a link to a story on his site explaining why this all happened in the first place.

 

As this week was starting off, little did I know that Indonesian immigration authorities had already started searching for me. Instead, I was more focused on getting to another modelling gig in Jakarta and then to start preparing for an impending trip back to Malaysia and Laos…

Day 1: Tuesday, June 03rd

0600 – I awaken in Solo, Indonesia, after only 3hrs of sleep. A few weeks ago I met a modelling agent while doing a beer run and he offered me a job. Today I have to catch the early morning train to Jakarta for another photo shoot. I would have flown but my passport was confiscated by Indonesian immigration the week before, so instead of a 1hr flight I have a 8hr train ride.

Derek's Indonesian fame

0800 – As the train departs I settle in to executive class and begin writing a new post.

1700 – Finally arrive in Jakarta, an hour later than scheduled. Walk out of the train station and hail an ojek (motorcycle taxi)

1900 – After fighting Jakarta traffic for two hours I arrive at the location for the shoot. It is finished in 30 minutes. Back to the train station.

2100 – Barely missed the last train back to Solo and hop a bus instead, expecting a 12hr trip. I lay down on a row all to myself and go to sleep.

 

Day 2: Wednesday, June 04th

0400 – Wake up to the bus rocking. Flat tire. We pull over on the side of the road and the back end is jacked-up to replace the tire. I check the map, expecting to be more than halfway to Solo but much to my chagrin I find that we are only 1/3 of the way there.

1000 – Calls and WhatsApp messages start coming in. Three immigration officials are at my house, searching for me.

1030 – More messages. Now they are at the house of my girlfriend, still searching for me. How they even found out about her or where she lives is a mystery to both of us, as our relationship is not common knowledge.

1200 – Immigration calls me. They want to see me for a hearing.

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Canon Travel Camera Giveaway

by Nora Dunn on October 16, 2014

As much as I love train travel (so much so that I’ve written a book about it – which you can learn more about below), as an international traveler, I wouldn’t have seen a fraction of the places I’ve visited if it weren’t for air travel. Did you know that January 2014 marks the 100 year celebration of commercial air travel?

I know this because the IATA (International Air Transport Authority) contacted me to help them celebrate this milestone on their website Flying100years.com. They interviewed me for their site about how I caught the travel bug, where – and how – I like to fly, my first memories of flying, where you should fly if you want to catch the travel bug, and more.

You can read the interview here: Travel Blogger Interview: The Professional Hobo

But they didn’t stop there. To help make the celebration even more fantastic,

they’ve given me a great Canon IXUS 265 compact digital camera to give to you!

 

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Attending a Peruvian Wedding

10 | 13 Peru

Attending a Peruvian wedding was a cultural boon and valuable insight into Latin American culture. Here’s what happened:

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Financial Travel Tip #121: Eating Locally, Withlocals

10 | 09 Financial Travel Tips

Withlocals is a website that connects travelers looking for a local experience with locals in Southeast Asia offering home-cooked meals and more.

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A Week-In-The-Life of Kirsty, Living in Rwanda

10 | 06 Week-In-The-Life Series

Ever wonder what daily life in Rwanda is like? Here’s a week-in-the-life of Kirsty of Nerdy Nomad, living, working, and volunteering in Rwanda!

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Cutting Your Losses: Why I’m Losing in Order to Win

10 | 03 Life as a full-time traveler

This is a tale of an ugly insurance claim and its detrimental effects – and why I’m now losing in order to win this case. Also, some awesome travel content.

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Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2013 Income

09 | 29 Featured

Financially sustainable travel is a delicate balancing act between managing income and expenses on the road. Here is an explanation of my 2013 income.

Read the full article →

Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2013

09 | 25 Featured

Here’s my full uncensored cost of full-time travel in 2013 – an expensive and rough year for me; testament to life happening we’re while busy making plans.

Read the full article →