I am a lover of languages and that’s no secret to some. It’s imperative, for me, to know a bit of a language before traveling anywhere.
This explains part of why I kept returning to France and Morocco; a big part was to maintain my French. Sure, I could have continued listening to French music and reading the books. But this doesn’t necessarily force anyone to speak a language. And there’s no better way to implant a memory than interaction with others.
Before my second trip to Italy, I had bought some books to learn, at least, the basics of Italian. The first time I visited Italy was on a whim and I did not want to be caught stuck and uncomfortable second time.
For some people, not knowing the language of a place is exciting. For me, it’s the complete opposite. I feel like I can’t ask for what I want and there’s an underlying tension with interactions. I like to feel freer and that involves learning the language.
In 4th grade, the first foreign language I was exposed to was Italian. It would have been my third language if I had maintained it. But it did introduce me to a different mindset. If I wanted to become a different character or person, just learn a language.
Learning another language unlocks another side to your personality due to the cultural differences and even mannerisms. Heck, even body language
It’s never too late to learn a language.
But all in all, I think I did fall for Italy after the two visits. I don’t think this means so long France but it does mean I will be having a love affair with Italy… and the language.