Learning a new language and then spending time in a different country means that you spend a lot more time in your own head than ever before! Just think about it, how much easier is it to have a conversation in your own language than a foreign one? You don’t even think about it, it’s just so easy. This is of course a lot harder when you are in a different language and immersing yourself in a different culture and the result can often be that you don’t really want to talk that much and spend a lot of the time, well just thinking.
I’m here to tell you that this is not a bad thing!
As a language learner myself I know that you have to challenge yourself. You have to go out and meet new people and have to be willing to make mistakes in your new language. Now that I teach English as well, I can say 100% to any language learner PLEASE MAKE MISTAKES! It is how we learn and people are a lot nicer than you think!
However this doesn’t mean that you have to do it all the time. One of the greatest joys I have known while being abroad is that I have more time to really think about things, whether it is as serious as what my family really means to me, or as simple as who should play striker for Arsenal FC at the weekend. I think it’s great. I can spend whole hours lost inside my own head and if you’re like me, you’ll know what a pleasure it is getting lost in your thoughts.
Taking this time out to relax and think can lead to wonderful things. You can discover what makes you happy, how you really feel about different topics and especially what you don’t know but would like to find out about the world. There are no limits to what you can do.
So my advice to everyone reading this article is no matter where you are in the world, or what language you are currently thinking in, give yourself some time to walk, sit, travel or whatever you like, but most importantly, give yourself time to simply think. You might just find yourself a lot happier at the end than when you started!
Do you enjoy spending time alone?