If you read this blog, you know I am a big fan of travel and languages.
Immersing oneself in a foreign culture, even for a short vacation, can add a lot to life.
And if you have the time and energy to learn a foreign language, so much the better.
The Benefits of Travel
Travel can help understand and appreciate the people and cultures of other lands. In a world where an increasing number of companies operate globally, being able to effectively deal with different cultures can enhance one’s career.
For example, a common trait in top Chief Executive Officers is international experience.
For those with less mercenary views of life, travel can also aid in just generally appreciating things. Art, cuisine, architecture, literature, geography, religion, etc., differ around the world.
Or, in terms my nephew can relate to: beer, beaches, and fast food stands.
Whether your fancy tends to beer or architecture, you can learn a lot from other places.
Benefits of Foreign Languages
Travel can help get to know another country. But to take it to the next step, I suggest you consider learning a foreign language.
Knowledge of another language will greatly enhance career opportunities.
Language skills also offer significant intangible benefits.
You can develop foreign language skills wherever you live. Computer programs, audio discs, public schools, private learning centres, all offer the chance to learn another language from home. And I think this is a good way to learn the basics.
But to develop strong skills, consider taking a course where the language is native to the location. By hearing, speaking, and reading the language continually you will greatly speed your learning.
As an aside, here are a few tips if you do ever intend to study a language abroad.
By combining travel and language skills, you will really develop an understanding of another culture. This can lead to a more enjoyable life as well as a career path with more upside.
So where to visit?
Latin America is a great travel destination.
Yes, some areas are a little dodgy and require care, but overall I think it is a safe place to visit.
I have been lucky enough to travel and study Spanish in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. Fantastic countries with friendly people, excellent food, and amazing scenery. And compared to many parts of the world, Latin America is very reasonably priced.
As an added bonus, I believe Latin America is poised for strong economic growth in the near future. That means employment and business opportunities for foreigners. If you have an understanding of the local markets and language, you improve your ability to capitalize on these growing economies.
So if you want to expand your personal horizons and possibly improve your career opportunities, consider visiting Latin America.
Oh, and did I mention, Latin America is an incredibly beautiful part of the world?