I’ve been filming and traveling for a little over three years and I always felt like not knowing the language was a barrier between really feeling like an insider. I partnered with Rosetta Stone in 2016, where I went around New York City and attempted to get talking with locals in various languages. After this experience, I decided it was the perfect time to dive-in and fully commit to learning my first second language—Spanish.
After months of practice at home, I was ready to deepen my practice on the ground. I planned a six-day trip to Mérida, Mexico for a week, and after I arrived proceeded to cancel my ticket home. I stayed in Mérida for another six days and then moved to a few other destinations within Mexico, staying for a little over a month. I knew this would provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for me to deepen my practice. A friend of mine always says the best way to get to know a new place is to run the city. So that is exactly how I began my day each morning. I spent almost every single morning heading out for a run, getting lost while talking to locals.
Spanish is my first second-language, and Rosetta Stone gave me the confidence to feel good about approaching people on the street when I first arrived. I loved winding my way through architecturally stunning spaces in town and bringing my newfound language skills to life.
Learning Spanish before I left activated an entire new way of how I saw and experienced the things I did on the ground in Mexico. Not only did learning a new language allow me to communicate more clearly and feel like an insider, it also made me a better listener.
When learning any language, there will always be a few hurdles. I personally struggled to come up with my own words while going through the lessons. By the time I left Mexico, my reaction time to questions dramatically improved. Using what I learned through Rosetta Stone, I built on my vocabulary foundation learning new new words every day.
There’s nothing like the feeling of confidence you get while ordering a taxi, ordering a meal, or just walking around and asking people where things are.
One of my biggest compliments while I was in Mérida was from a staff member at a hotel property I was touring to photograph for my Instagram. The young man said, “Your Spanish is good! You don’t even have an American accent when speaking.” I have Rosetta Stone TruAccent® to thank for that.
Rosetta Stone TruAccent® allows you to perfect your pronunciation and sound like a native with our patented speech-recognition technology.
It’s part of the program that really makes you feel like a local.
After learning Spanish and traveling to Mexico to immerse myself for an entire month, I had a completely different experience in Mérida than any of my previous travels. I’m sad that my time here in Mexico is up. I’m really looking forward to continuing my Rosetta Stone lessons, immersing myself in more Spanish speaking destinations this year, and maybe even adding another language or two to the mix.
What language are you most interested in diving into in 2018?