I don’t speak spanish.
And I’m quite annoyed at myself because of this fact. I spent a few weeks in the Dominican Republic several years ago, camping and climbing on the beach. And as the only foreigner around, it started to feel really lonely really fast. While a lot of my friends here speak pretty good English, the communication barrier was huge. I felt it especially when sitting around the campfire at night, everyone laughing and telling jokes, and me working my ass off to try to understand even a small fraction of what they were saying. What was a pretty amazing experience could have been ten times so if I’d been able to communicate with everyone.
I vowed not to come back til I spoke the language.
But here I sit again, in the airport waiting for my flight home, after another pretty amazing week in the Dominican that could have been more amazing had I been able to communicate. Or at least order my own food. Or ask which bus stop to get off at. Or tell the creepy man on the bus to please stop talking to me.
I’m kinda pissed at myself because I had TWO whole years to learn, and I didn’t. You know how much 2 whole years of Spanish lessons can learn you? A LOT. And it wouldn’t have been that hard. One class a week, a few skype conversations with my friends to practice. I could be fluent by now. But I’m not, because I didn’t make it a priority.
And it IS a priority for me. I love to travel, and god knows how much time I’ve spent in Spanish speaking countries. It’d be nice to have a small idea what the hell is going on around me when I’m there. Not to mention it feels irresponsible and slightly embarrassing to not speak the language when I travel somewhere.
So now it’s a priority. And this time, I’m not letting myself slack.
Know how I know I won’t let myself slack? I’ve set a deadline…. wait for it….
I’m moving to the Dominican Republic in 3 weeks.
Not a joke. I keep saying I want to learn, so I figured why not take the bull by the horns and put myself in a situation where I have no choice.
We do this a lot don’t we? We say we want a change but we put it off and put it off, or we start and don’t stick with it. But with small, consistent action, we’d see huge results. But sometimes the goal feels SO big that we don’t even let ourselves try.
Whether it’s going to the gym more, or reaching a goal in a sport (like climbing, or running, or knitting), or learning a new language, the formula for success is the EXACT same:
Do the work, do it consistently, and don’t stop doing it, and you will see results.
So that’s what I’m going to do. Move to Santo Domingo. Go to Spanish school. Make it my mission to learn to speak fluently(ish). So that when I take people climbing, camping, and hiking next year in the Dominican for the Adventure Retreat, I won’t feel like such a dork again.
Oops- I guess I just revealed the top secret location of the Adventure Retreat next year! I hope you’ll join me, it’s going to be a seriously amazing trip.
So the moral of the story is this:
That thing you keep saying you want to do. Start it now. Don’t let years go by without taking action and making progress on it. You’ll get there sooner than you think, but you MUST start.
In the comments below, tell us what you have been putting off that it’s time to re-commit to.