So moving to another country and setting up your life so that you have no choice but to speak a new language, is a guaranteed way to become at least conversationally fluent.
To keep the language, you need to keep practicing. For example, staying in touch with your new made friends helps a lot. Although, they are forced to read your letters out loud, in order to understand what sounds you’ve tried to put into words like a coded spy message. Ups.
Make sure they are nice and patient people.
Writing in French still, doesn’t make sense to me. Neither does English, but in case of latter, I had a teacher who made me memorize everything from random texts to grammar for the longest 12 years of my life. Every day. Every year started with conjugating every possible verb out there. It is the worst possible way to learn a language and cannot be done when you’re relying on your motivation alone. School sucks.
Growing up I never had pets. Ok, that’s a lie. I had a couple of fishes that I either over-fed or forgot to feed. I forgot the cause of the death. Ok, I forgot to feed them. And an angry little parrot that I never managed to tame.
As so many kids, I always wanted a dog. I preferred and angry parrot to a cat. No cats! But a dog!? OMGSH PLZ. But since I can remember myself, my family always moved from one flat to another. And by the time my mum finally created something I could call my home, it was time for my first year abroad in Belgium. Followed by another 5 other countries I’ve resided in so far.
Yeaaaah, no space and love for animals in this luggage.
So I got a job in Arthur’s Pass. All I knew is that it was a village of 30 people with one random cafe and a bar. As well as the coldest, rainiest and highest settlement in New Zealand. Yeaaay.
I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision. Should I have stayed in Wanaka? Fight for a job with Vikki? Have a bit of a..social life?
Pff.I was tiiired. Tired of moving around. Tired of having the same travelers’ small talk. Which is basically people secretly measuring each other’s travel plans and past experiences, hiding the fear-of-missing-out and justifying the decisions already taken. Myself included.
Or I just I enjoy solitude more than I dare to admit. Boom. There. Ok, I said it. So off I went to the mountains!
Two months passed by. I was running away from Queenstown and I got into the car with these three Argentinians. They were so nice. They even tolerated my attempts to say random stuff in Spanish. That was a bloody long lift as well- Wanaka to Nelson.Oh dear..
So we started looking for a job together and ended up in Rimu Grove. A little vineyard in between Nelson and Motueka. Run by this awesome dude Luke.