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How languages enrich your travels
June 27, 2023

Hey, I'm Sarina Schroff, I'm 19 years old, and I speak seven languages. I graduated from high school in the summer of 2022, immediately moved into the big wide world, and started to travel.

I traveled with Interrail for two months to almost every big city in France, Spain, and Italy. After that, I was in Portugal for two months and attended a language school in Lisbon. Then I was in Barcelona, New York, and Milan for a short time. In December, I ventured to Asia and traveled for more than a month through Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore.

But how can seven languages be useful?
1. Get to know people better

I often slept in hostels, not hotels, because I wanted to meet new people from different countries. A conversation usually started in English, but as soon as the person told me they spoke one of my languages, we switched to that language.

I improved my language skills incredibly, but I also got to know people in a completely different way.

2. Not everyone speaks English!

Even if it seems impossible for many, only some people speak English today. In many smaller villages, people only speak the local language and usually with a very strong dialect. They will feel honored if you can communicate with these people in their language. You can also get a lot closer to the culture. For example, in Madrid, a woman in a restaurant offered me everything for free because she was thrilled that I could speak Spanish.

3. Find friends

Thanks to my language skills, I've made amazing friends on my travels! For example, one of my best friends is from Paris. I can always go to Paris and visit them AND not lose my French. Likewise, I can visit a friend in Portugal whenever I want. We get along well, although she doesn't speak English and I've only just learned Portuguese.

Languages can open so many doors for you; as you can see, it's sometimes about more than just being able to order in a restaurant abroad.

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