My Spanish Journey
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Learning Spanish has taken me all over the world and allowed me to have some amazing experiences. I started my Spanish journey in the classroom at school like many of my students. This is my story about how I learnt the language and had some adventures along the way.
I travelled to Peru in 2004 armed with a Spanish A-Level and an over-sized backpack. This was my first experience of being completely immersed in another language. It was terrifying and hilarious at the same time.
I lived in a small town, Urubamba, located in the sacred valley near Cusco. I taught English to a group of a similar age to me. It was an enlightening experience. Not only was I learning Spanish, but I was also learning about Peruvian and Quechuan culture. People were incredibly welcoming and friendly. During my stay I was lucky enough to: travel to the amazon jungle, hike the Inca Trail, try sand boarding in the Peruvian desert and to reach the incredible salt flats in Bolivia.
After 3 months I moved to Mexico to live in Ciudad Guzmán. My Spanish was already improving and here I worked at the radio station for the University of Guadalajara. In broken Spanish we presented a show about the differences between British and Mexican culture. I had the shock of my life when I was stopped in a shop and asked if I was the girl from the radio. I had assumed nobody would be listening!
Travelling in Mexico was incredible, even if it did involve some epic 24 hour bus rides. Highlights included visiting the ruins at Palenque, a natural swimming pool at Hierve El Agua and scuba diving at the 'Cenotes' close to Tulum.
University and A Year In Spain
Inspired by all I had learned and seen on my travels, I went to the University of Leeds to study English and Spanish. This also involved an Erasmus year at studying at university and teaching English in Oviedo, Spain.
Oviedo is the main city in the region of Asturias. It is a region of beautiful mountains and spectacular coastline. Asturias produces amazing cider which is traditionally poured from as high as the waiter can stretch. Far from the stereotype of Spanish culture, traditional Asturian music includes bagpipes. Locals speak Asturiano as well as Spanish.
Here I was able to improve my fluency in Spanish.
At university I read a lot in Spanish which broadened my vocabulary. I lived with two Spanish girls and spoke as much as I could in Spanish too. Now I could use all the theory I had learned in practice.
For me, learning Spanish has been both eye-opening and life changing. I am still learning more everyday and now I am lucky enough to help others on their journey to learn the language. What do you want to achieve with your Spanish and where will it take you?
Playa De Los Curas, Asturias, Northern Spain
Hi, I am Karen. I am a languages tutor and blogger. I offer online tuition for students across the UK. I live in Tonbridge, in Kent, with my husband and my son. For me learning Spanish has meant fun, adventure, friendship and fulfilling work. I love sharing all that I have learnt with my students and via my blog. If you would like to receive 10% off your first online lesson, as well as regular updates and tips for learning Spanish, subscribe here.