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17th September
written by Randy

I’m 34 years old, and believe it or not, before this year I had never been outside of the United States. I love to travel, and I had been all over this country, but I had never been to another. I love learning foreign languages and had already learned basic speech in several other languages, but I had never gone somewhere where I had to use any of them. I even went through a frustrating process getting my passport (name spelled wrong the first time) in 2006, and in four years I hadn’t managed to get it stamped a single time.

Being a 34-year-old who had never been out of the country is embarrassing. When all your friends and colleagues talk about Spain, or Germany, or wherever they’ve been, it’s embarrassing. And when you have a reputation for being “the language guy”, it’s even more embarrassing.

There’s always been some excuse. I didn’t have a passport. I didn’t have the money for travel. I didn’t know how to get a visa. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t have anyone to visit. I couldn’t take the time off of work. I had too much debt, too many responsibilities, blah blah blah.

This year, that changed. One of the interesting things about starting an awesome language blog, is that with hundreds of eyes on you, you’re no longer just letting yourself down. If I were to pass up opportunities to do amazing things, I would lose all the credibility I was building with my blog. So when an opportunity to travel arises, my first instinct now is to take it.

In just the past five months, I’ve been to Germany, Uzbekistan, Canada, and Spain… and there’s still time left for more! I’ve already got my sights set on Mexico this winter, and possibly Argentina. Who knows what will happen?

I’ve always wanted to be a world traveler. (After all, you don’t learn several languages just to sit around and act smart!) I’m happy to say that among the many things that have made this an amazing year, one of the most exciting is finally having been to other parts of the world. But rest assured… in spite of how much as I’ve managed to do in the past few months, it’s just a start. I’ve got much bigger plans ahead!

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