The Next Big Adventure (Three Months Without English?)
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is achieve fluency in a foreign language.
To get to the point where I’m not just “pretty decent”…but actually fool locals into thinking I’m from their country. This is something I’ve dreamt about for a long time. And, occasionally I would make progress. Swept up by a wave of motivation, I would dedicate a few weeks to studying the language I’d been fantasizing about. Ferociously. To the point where I’d do nothing else and my entire life would be consumed by the dialect. But it never lasted. Like a blazing wildfire, eventually it would smolder out until it became a distant memory…a failed attempt and silly goal I’d messed around with.
But that was then. This is now. Things have changed. And I’ve finally smartened up when it comes to achieving my goals. As I explained in my last post, I’ve become aware that chasing motivation and “shiny objects” will lead you nowhere…and the real path to “success” (what ever that means to you) comes through enlightened-discipline — strategically selecting the actions that’ll lead you to your goal, and then doing them. Every day. Even if they’re hard or you’re not feeling particularly “inspired.”
Anyways, the other day I had an idea.
I was on a run in the rain, when a crazy thought popped into my head: “What would happen if I dedicated three months to completely immersing myself in another language, and culture? What would happen if, instead of continuing to wait and fantasize about becoming bi-lingual, I actually did it. I went ALL in. And I dove headfirst after the goal with total enthusiasm?”
At first, I hesitated. That’s crazy. I can afford to do something like that. I’m not ready…blah blah blah. The same excuses that pop up whenever I conjure up a difficult new challenge flooded my awareness, threatening to pull me down into safety. Into comfort. Into mediocrity.
But I resisted. Maybe it was the cold shower’s I’ve been taking, maybe it was my daily ritual…I don’t know. But something compelled me to look at those excuses objectively. And really ask myself…what’s the worst that could happen? No, seriously. What’s the worst case scenario?
Surprisingly, the best…err, worst…I could come up with was along the lines of “I wouldn’t achieve my goal, and I’d spend 3 frustrating months (probably having a ton of fun) in another country.”
This little exercise, combined with videos like this one and posts like this one, compelled me to say “screw it, why not?”…and take a big leap of faith. I bought a plane ticket. I packed my bag. And I’m leaving TOMORROW night (holy shit) for Guatemala and twelve weeks of Spanish immersion. I’m taking private lessons, living with a local family and converting EVERY ASPECT of my life into a language I’m less-than-proficient in — on purpose. In fact…my goal is to speak no english for 3 months.
Even though I’ve travelled internationally before, I’m nervous. I’m scared. But it’s good. And I’m anxious to board the plane and get this next adventure under way. I’ll keep you posted…and I’ll write an article every now and then, when I’m not reading Harry Potter En Español, studying new vocabulary or having dinner with my host family.
Now, I know this might come off as a bit weird, random or unrelated to health and fitness…but, to me, “undomesticated living” extends beyond how you eat/move and encompasses all aspects of life. It means transcending the dumbed-down mainstream culture and walking the “narrow road” of personal development. And it means breaking free from the societal “zoo” and living a life on your own terms. Doing what you want. Walking your path…regardless of what other people think.
I’m walking mine. It’s not perfect. But it’s pretty fun ride.
WHAT’S YOUR NEXT BIG ADVENTURE? OR, IF YOU WERE TO DO SOMETHING “RADICAL” IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? LEAVE A COMMENT!
P.S. If you’ve successfully learned another language, I’d love to hear how you did it! Please leave a comment below or email me with any tips, strategies and insights you may have.