How a Year of Language and Travel Made Me a Better Global Citizen

This isn’t the pretentious ‘global citizen’ that you hear in hostels from hipsters who think their own passport isn’t cool enough to warrant a straight answer when you ask where they’re from. I mean the actual philosophical, civic, and social idea of being a global citizen and…

16 Ways to Study a Language Abroad for Free

Language immersion is not only the best way to learn a new language, but also sort of the reason this blog exists. When I turned 21, I only spoke English, and one of the reasons was that I thought I’d just never have the time…

Reflections on My First Year of Travel Blogging

One year ago today I published my first post on Globalect. This blog’s first year has not only been a means of sharing my stories as I move through the world and immerse myself in its languages, but it’s also evolved into a professional tool that I never expected…

backpacking mexico

Backpacking Mexico, ¡with Mother!

In January I was in Monterrey, my first stop in Mexico as well as my first trial speaking Spanish in a group social setting. My Mexican friend Karen and I went to a small meetup with some Couchsurfers, a German and three Mexicans, who we met at a…

Trilingual in Three Years — Part 4: Three Years Later

It’s June 4th as I start writing this, so about 3 years and 1 month after I first opened a book called Teach Yourself Dutch and started my multilingual journey. Thus time for an update. Three years ago I was in Tallahassee, Florida, getting ready for…

Lengua Española: The Latin American Lingua Franca

An American, a Brit, a Frenchman, and a Mexican walk into a bar hostel: what language do they speak? In a recent past life, I would have said English without a thought or hesitation, even if there weren’t two native speakers in the mix. But in…

The 3 Steps to Hacking Pronunciation in Any Language

In December I wrote the three-part series, Trilingual in Three Years, to share in detail my approach to language learning. After finishing that series I embarked on my overland trip from NOLA to Bogotá, since which Globalect has focused more on travel and backpacking, my hispanophone struggles and successes in Mexico, and the linguistic…

Gezellig Doen in Central Mexico

My second and third weeks in Mexico formed an uncomfortable, linguistically pubescent transition as a language learner and a traveler. In cultural terms, I’d finished my soft segue in comfy Americanized Monterrey with my overprotective adopted Mexican family, so culture shock wasn’t such a concern. In…

Bebé’s First Words

Crossing into Mexico was the first time I’ve really been nervous or scared while traveling, for a couple of reasons. The first and lesser is the obvious one: if you turn on the news in the US (and occasionally in Europe), you can’t avoid stories…