This post is sponsored by Duolingo, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
“Travel far enough you meet yourself.” -David Mitchell
There are perks that come with being a professional international athlete, one of the biggest being the opportunity to travel the world. The experience to explore and discover new cultures is a wealth in its own right!
I am lucky enough to travel to dream places like Monaco, Switzerland, New Zealand, and even Tokyo with the upcoming Olympic Games! Yes, I have a job to do on the track, but you can’t neglect the fact I am stepping foot in some pretty cool places.
Finding a country that I have not traveled to is easier to name than the countries I have, but recalling the treasured memories from those journeys are difficult. My biggest regret throughout my years of running is that I did not explore more, for various reasons.
So, with the 32nd Olympic Games being held in Tokyo, I am making it a priority to explore every bit Japan has to offer. Now with the games being postponed, I have more time to learn and add Japanese to my toolbox so that language will not be the reason why I cannot find true “Heiwa” (that’s ‘peace’ in Japanese)!
The one thing I most look forward to is the athlete village and see the many people you can meet and connect!
One of the best memories I have from my past Olympic experiences is pin trading! Each athlete is given a set of exclusive pins representing their country, and we would go trade with as many countries as possible. It is a way to create a conversation, which could lead to long lasting life connections!
So, what a better time than to learn the different languages of the world to at least hold a small conversation while trading country pins.
Instead of playing never-ending games, how about you enjoy the language games offered by Duolingo and develop a new skill at the same time. I’ve added a session to my morning routine while I stretch, foam roll, and even get a session in before starting my workouts at the track.
During this time of world-wide pause, I’m sure I am not the only one ready to hop on a plane and travel as far from home as possible to explore the fresh air of the world. Not only are we missing the treat of exploration, but we miss the privilege of connection, something we are all currently learning the value.
It is within connection that you not only learn about others and their culture, but you learn about yourself. There is magic during the fluid dynamics of communicating.
This simple act makes learning a new language especially important, giving anyone the opening for success in nearly any aspect of life.
I am lucky enough to travel the world often as an international athlete, so I have experienced first-hand the many reasons why learning a new language is beneficial.