WHEN LIVING ABROAD, communication is the biggest obstacle. Loneliness in a strange land can be truly depressing, and a lack of communication skills may compound your sadness.
So why not kill two birds by learning a new language with a new love?
First and foremost, you will learn much more quickly when you and your partner’s happiness depends on it. There is an added incentive to decipher facial expressions, strange sounds, and frantic hand-waving, if a correct interpretation might lead to a fine meal, good kisses, or a wonderful night under a full moon.
Second, who wants to spend time in a classroom reciting the ABCs, learning how to say “Where is the shoe store?” and other such vital information when an pillow talk and strolls through the park could be the alternative?
The tedium of going back to school for a language is completely washed away when mistakes become opportunities for laughter and inside jokes told years later to friends and family.
Third, the breadth and depth of you language ability will surprise you. If you are dating a native, you will learn words and expressions that no other foreigner in the Greek as a Second Language class is learning. The language becomes not only a mode of communication, but also a living connection to the world around you.
In this way, the country becomes less foreign and its people more accessible when you are able to spit out a few colloquialisms gleaned from your lover-teacher.
Fourth, you will have a cuddle companion for trips that you might not have taken if you were alone with your phrasebook. You will see more of the country and be able to find the best places to stay, the cheapest modes of local transportation and eat local cuisine at the right mom and pop shop, because your lover knows these things.
Last and most important, finding a person to share your experience is the whole point of traveling. The connections you make with people is exactly why people pack up and leave home for a few years. In fact, finding a native lover should be the first goal of any person going to live in another country.
All of the above reasons for using love to learn how to communicate revolve around the central theme for traveling: connecting. Have fun.
So where are the best places to find your new lover and teacher? Check out Sascha’s companion piece: The Love Tour: World’s Best Cities for Singles.
For more on the ups and downs of love on the road, check out Why Sex is the First Real Connection in Foreign Relationships, or How to Travel with your Fiance and Come Back Together.