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I'm about to spend 12 months doing something crazy.

Hey Duolingo Community!

In seven weeks I'm quitting my job to learn languages and travel full-time. It's been a long time coming and will absolutely raid my savings, but I can't wait!

The only problem is that I haven't... actually... decided on the language(s) yet!

I'm going to be vlogging during my year, and I started today by setting myself a challenge of booking my first language courses by the end of the month:


I would love you to take a look and let me know what you think. If you had a year off, what would you learn? Where would you go to learn it? Can't wait to hear from you, and if you'd like to follow my trip, then please do subscribe to the YouTube channel!



April 23, 2017



French, Spanish, or Portuguese. Those are spoken in many countries in different parts of the globe too. If you would rather go to a smaller country with it's own language (Which would be a whole other adventure) I recommend Hebrew, Icelandic, Thai, Hindi, Nepali, or Swahili. I definitely recommend Nepali though because I hear in Nepal it is absolutely nothing like culture you are probably used to.


That's a great list of suggestions! I had never considered Icelandic (although I would love to visit the country) and Swahili sounds like a great idea.

God, there are just so many to pick from. I'm very glad that I've given myself a deadline otherwise I could easily think about this literally for ever.


I just visited your channel and wanted to add something else.

Whatever country or language you choose, I think it should be a place outside of Europe. You will get stronger reactions if you speak a language of a people who look different than you. (I can speak from experience). India, like you said in your video, would be awesome. I hear from travelers that India is not a place you go to as a tourist, but it is a place you experience. I think that, or Arab countries would be great for your channel and you'll get more views than if you were to travel through European countries. This very youtube famous language learner is a great example of speaking "exotic languages" with native speakers and getting huge reactions. You may know him https://www.youtube.com/user/laoshu505000

Also, for travel vloggers, there is a youtuber named Hobotraveler who I've been watching for years. He's been to nearly 100 countries, or over 100. I don't remember, but he has a lot of philosophical travel videos and general travel skills to help the rest of us. His video quality is low, but his content is rich.

I also like a travel vlogger named Minoritynomad. His videos seem similar to yours in style. He's been to around 90 countries and has good stuff too. He also has a website.


A risky move, but you can't achieve something without trying.


Hmm, well, I'd try learning a language that's very different than English. I'd personally consider learning one of the Chinese languages (particularly Mandarin or Cantonese), Japanese, or Korean, though you could also learn Finnish or Hungarian if you don't want to face such a different culture (though I think that learning about a different culture would be more enjoyable, and I would be able to experience the culture first hand since I'd be living there).



I would love to live in a completely different culture! In fact, for me that's the main reason I learn languages really - learn about cultures and people via languages, rather than the other way around!

I think if I had to choose one of those four you mention, then I think Korean could be great... so hard to decide!


Culture is unavoidably baked into a group's language, so language is a great way to learn about culture.

Korean might be a wise choice since it has a much easier writing system than Chinese and Japanese, but each of the languages has pros and cons. I'm learning Japanese and absolutely love it, especially the formulaic, almost intuitive way verbs conjugate. Writing can be a pain before you get used to it, but I still love it. I think you should try out the languages a bit on Memrise or something before you finalize your decision so you have a feeling for the language and know that it's what you want to pursue.

Whatever you choose, good luck!


Wow! I'm envious! I would love to live in France or any French speaking country in Europe, or any German speaking country or in Italy. I love these 3 languages so much! I already live in Spain being from the USA, so I guess I can't complain but right now I just really love those 3 languages.


I'd look around at other travel vloggers who are doing the same (if you have not done this yet), and study languages and go to places that are out of the norm, something and somewhere to make you stand out. Maybe Turkish and travel through Turkey? Burmese and travel through Myanmar? Arabic and travel through the Gulf States? I know you said France is high on your list, and at the end of the day you should do something that interests you, but everyone goes to France. I think it may be a saturated market for what you're doing. Maybe Russia instead? Good luck.


Thanks - that's a really interesting thought. You're quite right though - I don't want to make my decision just based on what will get me subscribers! (BUT) - Although I'm keen on French, I do want to do something more adventurous, certainly.

At the moment, I think I'm erring towards 4/5 months doing something in Europe, and then striking out into the unknown and heading to the Middle East / Asia for the remaining 7/8 months. What do you think?


Yeah, I could see Europe being a good starting point for your new adventure before doing a longer trip through a more 'exotic' location. As far as subscribers goes, I was just thinking about your finances. Especially since it is cheaper to travel through some Asian countries, plus, if you're traveling through India for example, while learning their language, you'll accumulate a huge fan base. I have a habit of thinking about numbers a lot, haha.


I know its not much, but you can put this lingot in your (digital) savings! good luck!


That is so totally cool! go for it, it sounds like fun, but a LOT of work! I would say pick a language that you really enjoy speaking a learning about. As we already know, choose something that you enjoy, and you'll enjoy your 12 months! Good luck!


Hah, I know! It's going to be tough, but I'm hoping to build a bit of a community around my YouTube channel. I think that'll be really helpful and it'll be great fun to share my trip and my experiences with you all


I would recommend learning Italian - a, it's easy, b, Italy is a cool country, and c, the food!


Try going to Russia and learning Russian. Or Iceland. Iceland is a cool country. (pun intended)


You should do languages from different subgroups of Indo-European languages because there are 2.9 billion speakers of Indo-European languages! Some examples are Germanic (English, German, etc), Romance (Latin, French, etc), Celtic (Welsh, Cornish, etc), Balto-Slavic (Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Serbo-Croatian, etc), and Albanian.


This is definitely something that is important to me. I already speak ~B2 German, which I really enjoy using. Romance would probably be my next choice (French? Italian?). I've also always thought Polish would be a really interesting one. I'm from the UK and we have a really big Polish community here, which means I'd be able to use it quite a bit.


Is the traveling and studying occur at the same time or separately?
If at the same time, shouldn't the first country you plan on visiting, the language spoken there, be the one you should focus on at first?
How many countries and how many languages you want to cover?

Have fun on your trip. I will be following your journey.
How old are you btw?


Yep, that's the plan! I'll choose the language(s) and then head to that country to learn it. French in France, or Italian in Italy, for example.

I'm trying not to be too ambitious with the number of languages. I know I have a whole year, but I'd rather say "two languages quite well" and then over achieve than say "three languages fluently" and fail. So, at the moment I'm thinking two languages (perhaps one European and one more adventurous) and learning them across perhaps 4-5 countries (depending on the languages of course)

And I'm 26 :)


I think french would be cool (Not just cause I'm learning it), because there are a lot of cool things to see in France, like the Eiffel tower, the Mona Lisa, etc.. And I like using french to stump out my friends when talking to them. Also, the ice cream Is delicious!


Also, when learning the language, remember to take duo lingo with you!


i think u should learn french so u can go to france. its sooooooooooooo cool there


That's VERY high on my list at the moment! I have never travelled outside Paris, so I would love the excuse to do that. You also get big chunks of Africa (esp North Africa) with French, which is an area I've always wanted to go.


Good for you!


I would go to a Spanish speaking country to improve my Spanish. Then go somewhere else. Maybe South Korea and/or Japan to learn their languages. Then maybe Israel to learn Hebrew and maybe even Arabic.


I'm not sure if I could make up my mind where I would go first if I had the choice of any country in the world, but definitely on my list would be Ireland, Switzerland, and I would also like to see a lot of south and central America. Best of luck! And I will definitely be following your travels.


It's my absolute dream to spend time traveling around the world learning languages. I wish you the best of luck on your journeys and adventures. :D

[deactivated user]

    Good luck on your journey!! I want to do that one day. Do you intend to work while you travel or did you save enough money to stay one year without working? My goal is to work in each country I may visit one day. About the languages, first I'd start practing Spanish, I live in Brazil so it's easier to travel to other countries in South America, no visa needed. In Europe, I'd practice my spoken English in the UK and then I'd learn Italian and French. I really love Russian and Mandarim, maybe I get to learn them one day. I know it's possible to travel the world while working and I want to travel for more than a year. I follow some people on youtube that are doing this, they are not rich, they just work. Once again, good luck!!!


    Thanks so much!

    I have saved enough to not have to work (just) but it would certainly make life more comfortable if I worked. My plan is to see how it goes and perhaps pick up a job around month 4-5 if it looks like it would be a good idea! We shall see! Make sure to subscribe then you'll be able to find out! haha.


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