Besides packing your passport and arranging a sitter for your dog, there is one thing in particular that you and your soon-to-be hubby or wife can do to enhance your honeymoon (or any trip) before you’re wheels up on the runway: Learn some common phrases in your destination’s primary language!
Are you thinking, ‘Yes, I’d love to, but who has time for that?’
I get it.
Planning a wedding often means whatever “free” time you used to have is spent working with your vendors and making decision after decision, leaving little time for current hobbies—much less picking up new ones.
Learning how to say “hello,” “thank you,” “goodbye,” “please,” and “one more glass of champagne” doesn’t have to be overly time consuming, though. In fact, if you’re not up for memorizing the language, jotting down some helpful phrases in a notebook and bringing it along for the adventure also works.
Here’s why it’s so worthwhile to learn a few foreign words before your first vacay as a married couple:
This summer my hubby and I will be spending a few days in Paris with Sister Smitten and my brother-in-law. Since it’s always been a dream of mine to learn French, I’m seizing this vacation as an opportunity to start. Oh em gee, my pronunciation is laughable. And that’s exactly what I do when I repeat a new word back to the app teaching me—I laugh! I love sharing these funny moments with Mr. Smitten (he’s equally as humorous).
This said, if laughing alongside the love of your life isn’t reason enough to take up an unfamiliar language, you can always fall back on the innate reward of expanding your knowledge base—a fulfilling endeavor in and of itself.
Growing, sharing, laughing—all of these things can help make a whirlwind year of wedding planning more enjoyable.
Have you ever had a house guest who ignores that everyone else at the party you’re hosting has removed their shoes, dirtying the floors you’ve lovingly scrubbed for them? (Hello! It’s raining outside!) Or have you ever devoted oodles of effort into growing, let’s say, a peony, only to have someone come along and snip the first bloom?
I dare say that visiting another country (whose primary language is different from your own) and completely neglecting to try to bridge the language barrier is also a little thoughtless. I don’t mean that you should feel obligated to become a whizz in another language, but being able to say thank you when someone carries your bags or brings you a water can speak volumes--both about you and how you view your place in our beautifully diverse world.
This is especially true since today you can learn how to say please and thank you in whatever language necessary with a quick Google search. Easy peasy.
A little effort goes a long way.
As alluded to above, a little effort can go a long way. While we hope that anyone in the service industry would strive to provide top-notch service regardless of the situation, the couples abroad who receive an extra chocolate on their pillows during their nightly turndown service or a preferred table in a busy resort restaurant often have recognized—and appreciate—that whatever destination they're visiting is different than their own.
In other words, they’re not the same dinner party guests who thoughtlessly leave footprints on your floors or bring you a bouquet picked from your own garden.
A better sense of understanding.
It’s difficult to learn a new language without also finding out more about the culture and history of the people who speak the language. Better understanding the events that have shaped a language and its people always enriches a honeymoon or vacation more generally.
For example, on my recent trip to Hawaii to become a certified Master Specialist on the island of O’ahu, my small group took a brief language course. (Hawaii has TWO official languages: Hawaiian and English). Not only did we learn about vowel pronunciation and special characters in the alphabet, we learned that Hawaiian was once illegal to speak—in Hawaii! Finding out about the events that surround this significant moment in history deepened my appreciation of everything else I was lucky enough to experience that week.