When I was in my late teens, I visited a psychologist. I was dealing with depression caused by events that occurred much earlier in my life that I had never dealt with. One of the recovery techniques suggested by my doctor was to write a letter. He told me that even if I never planned on sending it, writing it down in letter form would help me feel like I was getting out the things I wanted to say to the person who caused the events without needing to sum up the courage to actually say it to them.
Now, I face a new challenge: the courage to say things in another language.
Many of us are required to take a language course in school. The first few classes perhaps your teacher only spoke in a foreign language to get you acquainted with the sounds and speed of the new words and phrases you were to learn. Eventually, it was your turn. You had to speak in that other language; but not much was depending on it other than your grade. There was little risk if you screwed up because others in the class didn’t necessarily know the language well enough to correct you, and if you were really stumped you could ask your teacher.
Now that I find myself heading towards my second year of living in Korea, I find it completely ridiculous that I don’t feel like I can communicate well with other Koreans. I was excited, but nervous for my recent trips to Japan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka because I certainly don’t speak a word of Japanese, Malay, or Sinhalese. Then, I found the World Nomads app. Ah.maz.ing!
Let it be known that I was not paid to recommend these apps. I was simply so impressed that I felt compelled to tell the world. So many people I know have caught the travel bug, and these apps are a great companion for any traveller in a foreign land. Check ’em out in the app store!