Many times I’ve mentioned how I’m fascinated with all walks of life, of culture and languages. I still do, had I the chance and the money I’d go and spend some time on those cities I’ve listed here on my bucket list, immerse myself and learn their language. I had always hope to work as a “real” translator and though I’d go for German – English, Spanish – English, adding Russian and French translation to the languages mentioned above would be great.

If you’re young and single, I suggest you scout the scholarship grants offered by different countries and go on that language learning and expand on your choice of career. If you are able then book that holiday for your next adventure and learn a new language to add to your abilities. Here are my top picks of places to visit and study a language.

1. Tokyo, Japan. Hajimemashite! I’ve always been fascinated with Nihongo and everything Japanese but until now, my knowledge of the language is limited. If hubby ever asks me again where would I want to settle I’ll choose Japan without batting an eyelash. Studying Japanese in Tokyo is offered by many holiday packages there and includes accommodation on dormitories, apartments or homestay where you get to have foster parents/families. Trips to key city attractions – Tokyo tower, Sanrio Puroland, different shrines and parks are included too as well as going to Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and other parts of Japan. To watch sumo tournaments, shop at Shibuya and see the statue of the famous akita inu, Hachiko, is also a must.

The food of course is an added bonus, dine and wine at Ebisu’s famous district. For a sushi lover like me, nothing’s best than Japan’s authentic and fresh offerings. Oh, don’t forget the Unagi! And no trip to Japan is complete without Karaoke, sing to your heart’s content wearing a traditional Yukata as Japanese do!

learning japanese, mt.fuji trip
To spend a Tokyo holiday in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom would be lovely. photo from http://www.melodramatic.com

2. Barcelona, Spain. Hola! Como Estas? Growing up, Spanish is the third language I learned. I had a refresher course at one of Vienna’s schools some time ago and would love to go on a trip to Barcelona to practice my skills with the locals. Though I’ve practiced with friends from Peru and Colombia living in the city but a view of the historic city and a feel of the real Spanish environment would surely be a wonderful experience. Like Tokyo, one can stay at a dormitory, a room for rent and at budget hotels while on vacation. Enjoy tapas as much as you can while in this region and gulp them down with orxata, cerveza or granizado.

To view the Pyrenees and the Montserrat, two grand mountains in the area is on my list of things to do. Add also Tibidabo. To photograph the famous church, Sagrada Familia that has been cited as a UNESCO world heritage site is also on my list.

sagrada familia, spain
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. via http://endandaim.blogspot.com

3. Dordogne, France. Bonjour, comment allez-vous? Paris will always be the city that one would choose if France is mentioned but a better department to experience a different feel of what the French has to offer is Dordogne. It is very close to Barcelona bordered by the Pyrenees.

To be in the French region means a lot of wine and gustatory experience. French fashion is haute couture, French fare is haute cuisine. Choose between a manor, an apartment or pension house on your stay and enjoy the wide array of food France has to offer. Start with salmon terrine (meatlof/pate) or Foie gras (fattened duck liver) for your  hors d’œuvre or entrée, have a Pot-au-feu (beef stew) for your plat principal then pick your choice of cheese for the next course. Finally choose from the most loved pattiserie the French has to offer.

In Dordogne you can go canoeing or kayaking at the Dordogne River. Visit chateaus, parks and manors that the department is known for. Immersion classes are widely available in Dordogne. I bet you would want to stay longer even after your course is done.

Château de Puymartin, dordogne, france
Château de Puymartin.

4. London, England. If English is not your first language or you would like to brush up and master the language, no other city would be best but London. It is another city of fashion couture and where the most famous museums are  located. London is and has always been a top tourist destination. It is also one of the top choice for students who want to further not only their English but their careers as well.

While in London, you can go about to see an old piece of art, a rare book edition of one of your favorite English authors, world renown architectures perhaps walk at the famous and real bridge from the nursery rhyme.

Forget not to visit the Westminister and Buckingham palaces, the gardens that abound the city, ride a red double-decker bus and take a photo beside that red telephone box!

True, there is in London all that life can afford and offer…make sure you have enough for your shopping escapade…London has so much to offer for shoppers…more appropriate because it is one of the Big 4 of the fashion world.

london at night
London at night. photo via http://reserviso.com

Whichever language and city you choose, make sure that you have a decent camera with you to capture all the wonderful scenery, the people you’ve met. In time, you can also blog about your experience in that particular city in the language you learned there. ^_^

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