My story with learning languages

”I like learning about new cultures. It’s a way of getting an answer to the ‘why?’. When you know the ‘why?’ suddenly strangers are not so strange anymore.”

Source: Humans of Amsterdam

Między - In between by Stanisław Dróżdż . Found at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Poland (MOCAK).
Między – In between by Stanisław Dróżdż . Found at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Poland (MOCAK).

When I came across that quote, I couldn’t help but think about my own situation towards cultures, history and languages. Despite that my dayjob is being a Historian at a Museum, I’ve always been connected to languages somehow and life have always seemed to have to put them in my path. Whether when it was when I had to learn English in order to study in school in the US or now that I am learning about a culture and history through its language with the hopes of developing and cultivating my passions in a new environment.

However, how can I explain my passion for learning languages and such?

I am a curious person, both in a good and bad way. I can get nosey at times, but most of the times, when encountering foreign cultures or people, I like approaching to them, if not eavesdrop. It must probably be something intrinsical to my personality, I guess.

However, my point about learning about languages is that it is my approach to learn about a certain culture: its customs, beliefs, music, food, et al. Everyone has different approaches: religion, food, fashion, among others. I decided that mine would be languages. Despite I am sort of shy and when I was much younger I had serious problems with communication skills, I take them as a challenge I can and I have already defeated several times. Not to mention that I constantly remember something my formation as a Historian has given me, beating the fear of the unknown. If you were to reflect about crude events in World history, violence (in all its forms) has been caused by one single thing: fear. Whether it is the fear of the unknown due to not knowing who these strange people are, of losing certain privileges you have been accustomed to or simply doing what you best though it was right. History and present life itself have showned us that we are all pretty much the same. Sure, we may have physical, intellectual or emotional differences that are important to remember, but more or less, we all can feel a range of emotions or have certain common tastes or opinions which we may not know at first hand. Hence, learning about languages has become a bridge to connect other people with others and a hammer to break down certain walls dividing human beings from each other.

One of my goals is precisley do these two things: connect with other fellow language learners or native speakers and realise… we are not so different in the end. We can probably all end up in a restaurant eating fries and having a drink, laughing at each other or simply singing a horrible song we know by heart. Now, it is up to myself on how to do these things: on this blog, I will feature tips, experiences and different approaches towards language learning, specially Polish language or other cultural aspects vital to this process. You are more than welcome to share posts, your experiences in comments or even contact me personally for future collaborations both here or anywhere else.

Bo, do zobaczenia i Witam!

30 cities challenge #13: The one to find the love of your life

In this place, you would find your true love, eventually.

It is a hard question, but yet again…

KRAKÓW, POLAND

Why? It is a beautiful old city in which women are beautiful, nice and intelligent. It is one of those places perfect for dates: nice riverside, parks, cafés and bars… all within a reasonable walking distance. If I want to do something else, I can escape the city and go to the mountains or a thermal bath. Not to mention that it feels like a completely different city each season.

I still miss you...
I still miss you…

Oh, and from Monday, this challenge will be in a short hiatus because there are new changes coming up :).

30 cities challenge #12: The one to visit quickly

You really have to visit this place, but you can always visit it in less than 12 hours.

Usually, I hate that attitude of seeing cities at a glance because I like to feel like I am living in a city. That is my traveling philosophy, after all. However, if I were to choose a city in which I could only stay for a few hours AND seeing I am already in a region surrounded by similar cities, my choice will be.

BRUGGE, BELGIUM

It’s a beautiful city. It has nice parks like Minnewaterpark in which you can sit down for a moment, see birds and nature, old buildings and not to mention the canals (despite it’s touristy and such, it’s worth taking a boat around the canals) and of course, the chocolate there. Still, if you have seen two Belgian cities, you could say you more or less know Brugge.

Everything looks so crisp there, still you can go back home after 12 hours of being around there ;)
Everything looks so crisp there, still you can go back home after 12 hours of being around there 😉