My Czech father and Brooklyn-bred mother met while living in Israel. I spent my childhood in the suburbs of New Jersey holding two passports, hearing three languages, and visiting family in four foreign countries. I took for granted that I would one day speak a second language (not to mention live abroad). It didn’t happen. I studied French on and off for seven years, took a semester of Spanish after an awe-inspiring three days in Barcelona, tried Hebrew immersion on a kibbutz and in various classrooms from Hebrew school through college. I never made it over the fluency hump (nowhere near it) with any of them. In my mid-30’s, with my life somewhat settled in New York City, I thought I had come to terms with the disappointing realization that I had grown too old to become bilingual or start over internationally.
Then in February of 2014 the polar vortex along with a growing malaise inspired me to take off on an impromptu solo vacation to Argentina. My language and travel bugs immediately came out of remission and goaded me to make some big life changes post-trip. I committed to jump-starting my Spanish and French with classes and conversation. I overhauled my budget and set up a “sabbatical” savings account. And I promised myself that after two years of tirelessly learning and scrupulously socking away cash, I’d become the itinerant ex-patriot I always wanted to be and set off on an open-ended immersion adventure.
In the meantime, I started this blog to keep me motivated and accountable, and to find a like-minded community of people who are determined to gain foreign language proficiency despite the hard work – both academic and emotional – that it requires.
So… what brings you here? Please leave a comment to let me know!
[Update: In February, 2016, I flew to Dakar to start my adventures abroad, right on schedule. This blog has gotten a lot more interesting since then…]