Bucket List Tips: Learn a New Language

Learning a new language is a popular bucket list goal because it’s challenging, it’s interesting, and it’s a lifelong skill that can improve your travel and your life.  But, because it’s difficult, not many people succeed in the way they wish.  While there are countless ways to learn a language, here are a few tips if you’re just getting started and need a little nudge.

learn a language

  1. Set Goals- Like all bucket list goals you need to make realistic deadlines to track your progress and be able to strive for your future success.  You can set long term goals like when you’ll have full conversations in the language, and progress markers like when you’ll have simple conversations, when you’ll be able to introduce yourself, and when you can grasp what is being said in a short dialogue.  These are up to you, just make sure you’re pushing yourself but allow for time if things get difficult.
  2. Collect Resources- You’ll obviously need resources to learn the language like a translation dictionary, audio files, and books.  It’s also a good idea to get movies (from that country, not dubbed) and watch them both for the language and for cultural references or idioms.
  3. Use It- Memorizing vocabulary and listening to the language isn’t enough to get you speaking and communicating.  It’s important to practice forming words and sentences that are unfamiliar to our English mouths and to quickly listen and understand the foreign words.  You can find a language exchange partner online or look in your community for classes or language groups to speed up your progress.
  4. Stay Positive- Learning a foreign language is tough.  If it weren’t, everyone would speak every language. But just remember why you want to learn that language, maybe an upcoming trip or you want to communicate with people you know in their language.  Whatever the case, keep reminding yourself, that way you keep from feeling down if things are moving slower than you’d hoped.
  5. Immerse as much as possible- If you’re learning a language for a trip, the trip might just put the finishing touches on your language learning. Try to speak as little English as possible so you immediately immerse yourself into the rhythm and mindset of the new language. If you don’t have plans to travel, maybe plan a trip! Or, if you can’t, try to block off days, or even a few hours where you won’t hear any English and will try to keep English off of your mind, listen to the language, read, and if possible, talk to others.

Hopefully this has inspired you to learn a new language, or to continue to learn a language you’ve chosen already.  Let us know in the comments below what language you’re learning, maybe you can even find a learning partner!

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The Irish Bucket List

Mackenzie-GuinnessIreland is many people’s favorite place in Europe. The accent, the food, the history, and the pubs, all make it a really fun place to visit.  You could spend all of your time in a pub, just hanging out, talking to locals, or enjoying the green-ness of everything and feel totally fulfilled with your visit. I know many people who have done just that! But if you want to cross a few things off your bucket list while you’re there I have some ideas for you.

5 Bucket List Ideas for Ireland

1. Drink Guinness

You can find Guinness everywhere in Ireland. I recommend drinking it whenever you can, but I’m just in love with the black stuff.  You can visit the Storehouse in Dublin where you learn how it’s made and have two free drinks. Worth a visit just for that.

2. Visit the Aran Islands

Off the coast of western Ireland near the Cliffs of Moher are three islands that make up the Aran Islands. These islands have nice beaches to dip your toes in cool water, plenty of restaurants and pubs, and horse-drawn carts for sightseeing.  These islands are a departure from typical Ireland and deserve a visit.Mackenzie-Blarney2

 3. Kiss the Blarney Stone

Everyone’s heard of the Blarney Stone.  Near Cork, Blarney Castle is a massive attraction for people who just want to kiss the stone.  There is also a small complex or gardens and forest around the castle ruins. But up at the top of the castle, you can wait in line for your turn at the Blarney Stone.

Lay on your back, lean over a scary ledge while you’re held by a lovely Irish man giving you instructions, and pucker up.  Just remember the sanitizer after…

 Mackenzie-cliffs24. Cliffs of Moher

On the west coast of Ireland, south of Galway, the Cliffs are spectacular.  Viewed from either land or sea, you will be impressed by their size. Walk along the path near the edge to get as much out of the cliffs as possible.

5. Giant’s Causeway

Though this is in Northern Ireland I’m including it because it’s a must-see if you’re on the island.  You can visit the Causeway by car or tour but alone with seeing a natural wonder you’ll visit a slightly different culture in the north.  There’s also a museum near the Causeway where you can learn about the formation of the rocks.

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Bucket List Destination Idea – Peru

Peru is a major destination in South America, and for good reason. It has some of the worlds most diverse climates, holds remnants of the ancient Incan civilization, and some really great food. It’s also home to many bucket list ideas, some that you might have on your list already. (Have you heard of Machu Picchu?)

But in case you haven’t jumped on the Machu Picchu bandwagon just yet, I’m here to give you a little nudge with some other top bucket list goals you can accomplish in Peru.

5 Reasons Peru should be on your bucket list

1. Trek the Inca Trail

You can spend between 2 to 4 days hiking and camping in the Sacred Valley, depending on your tour. You’ll experience the world much like the Incas did and you will make the challenging trek most of us have never experienced. The tour ends at Machu Picchu.

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2. Visit Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the top destinations in the world. With its mysterious origins, amazing architecture, and spectacular views everyone should try to visit. It’s near Cusco in the middle of the Sacred Valley in the Andes Mountains. Even if you don’t hike the Inca Trail, you’ll be amazed by this visit. You might even want to come back.

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3. Fly Over the Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are well known because of they’re unique and mysterious. The Lines are spread out in the rocky hills and valleys near Nazca and the best way to view them is from a plane. You can book your flight at a nearby airstrip and have either a small plane full of people or, like me, just two pilots, and two passengers!

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4. Try Sand Surfing

Another fun Bucket List idea is sand surfing. In southern Peru, near Huacachina Lagoon, you’re in the middle of the desert and have perfect access to many dunes to surf. Hotels nearby can rent out sandboards or you can arrange a tour for a little more help. Once you get the hang of it it’s super fun going down, it’s the walking back up that’s challenging!

5. Visit the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest of Peru is in the north, far away from the sand dunes. You can trek and camp in the rainforest, encountering monkeys, sloths, and other wild animals. You can also take a cruise on the Amazon for spectacular views.

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