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…

(Un)common Sense Tips for Budget Backpacking

In my last post I shared some updates about where I am on the road from NOLA to Bogotá and how I’ve stretched my limited funds to get here with budget backpacking. After that post, I realized I’m always alluding to ideas like ‘cheap travel’ and ‘backpacking on…

Location Independence Mexico City

NOLA to Bogotá Update: Becoming Location Independent in Mexico City

Last October I left the Netherlands to go work as a volunteer teacher in Bogotá, Colombia, but somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and landed about 3,000 km north in Mexico City. Instead of moving to one place, I’m now traveling indefinitely, and instead…

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…

9 Reasons You Must Add Querétaro to Your Mexican Itinerary

Santiago de Querétaro took about half a day to become my favorite stop in Mexico so far and join the ranks of my favorite destinations worldwide. Which is why I was so disappointed when I realized that consulting a guidebook or Googling Mexico travel topics…

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…

Transitioning through Texas

My last few days in familiar territory on the road from NOLA to Bogotá were spent in Texas. It’s a state that demands enough attention that Americans have strong opinions one way or another about its culture and politics, and familiar enough outside the US that most of its…

72 Hours of Hitchhiking

I only hitchhiked for the first time in August last year, but I instantly fell in love with it. In the twenty or so times I’ve jumped into cars with strangers in Western Europe, the Balkans, and now the US, I’ve sat next to a lot of…