Spanish school

Slow down, the way to learn Spanish

Travelling is the greatest gift that you can give yourself. It is a wonderfully exciting adventure. After a year and half on the road I have been lucky enough to see so much of this beautiful world and encounter so many amazing humans along the way. However, being away from home for an extended period of time can take it's toll. Being separated from loved ones and familiar faces can be difficult, especially when travelling solo. Packing your bag every few days and starting fresh in a new hostel, city or country can be exhausting. It can also be lonely. Only staying in one place long enough to form Surface relationships and only knowing a place well enough to say you´ve seen it. My advice; slow down.


Not only will studying Spanish allow you to travel more easily, and have more authentic interactions with locals, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to slow down and settle in somewhere for a little while. Unpack that heavy backpack. Take a deep breath. Make yourself at home. I had intended to study at Spanish Adventure for two weeks, and six weeks later I'm still here writing this post. Whether you are able to attend Spanish school for one week or eight, let me tell you why you won't regret making time for it.


From the moment that I arrived in San Carlos I felt at ease. After the hustle and bustle of hitting up all of the backpacker hotspots on the Northern Colombian coast I was in need of a change of place. I had an amazing time but I was getting sick of the gringo trail and seeking something off the beaten track, and San Carlos was exactly what I was looking for. It was immediately obvious from the moment that I set foot in the Spanish Adventure school that it was a small, close knit group. After only a few hours I felt like part of the family, and that feeling has just kept growing exponentially.


Before studying at Spanish Adventure I rarely felt confident enough to practice my Spanish, and didn't need to since I was primarily surrounded by English speakers in touristic destinations. However, after quickly feeling comfortable around my fellow students and teachers I no longer felt ashamed to try to speak Spanish and even to make mistakes. Given that San Carlos is a small, non-touristy town, using Spanish on a daily basis with the locals is absolutely necessary. Not only are the San Carlintanos happy to speak with you (even when your Spanish isn't great) but they are also incredibly friendly, curious and interested in getting to know you. Being invited into strangers homes for a meal, or to the community dance aerobics class with the local women are regular occurrences here and have really made me feel part of the community.


Another major factor that contributes to feeling at home is having a routine. When you take the time to study at a Spanish School you will inevitably fall into some kind of routine. Here at Spanish Adventure a typical day consists of: going to Spanish Class, cooking and eating meals together family style, afternoon adventures (hiking, swimming, climbing), studying and practicing Spanish, spending time with the locals,  exercising, and of course exploring the San Carlos nightlife. Of course you are travelling to have new experiences right? Slowing down long enough to learn Spanish will only expand your capacity to explore Latin culture further.


It is also inevitable that you will form incredible friendships with your fellow students (and teachers), especially considering you spend so much time together and are all here for the same common goal; to learn Spanish and have amazing adventures! While the time to really learn Spanish and explore Colombian culture



Sport in San Carlos

You have Spanish lessons in the morning, swim and jump off rocks during the adventures while exploring the beautiful San Carlos landscape. BUT, somehow, you still have energy.

In San Carlos you can find a lot of places where you can exercise or play sports.

Where can I do some exercises?

In San Carlos there are two outdoor gyms. The closest to the school (just a 2 minute walk away) is for every age. Children play, elders do their cardio and teenagers pump their muscles. It’s a great spot to work out and exchange with the locals in a nice atmosphere.

The second one is a sports field. Here you have mostly bars and some old-school weights (made out of stones) for some bench presses. School students mostly train here, so if you don’t know what you want to train they might help you out.

There are also two different indoor gyms - that cost around a dollar a pop - if you want more variety and better equipment.

Where can I play sports?

There are basketball and soccer fields to play on, either with the locals or with your friends. But be aware, the locals play football pretty well! Don’t expect them to be easy on you. If you go for a game with your Spanish adventure colleagues you will find out that there is always someone who wants to join.

If you don’t like soccer or basketball then don’t worry, there is more in San Carlos. You can play table tennis, volleyball or go out to one of the big fields and play any game you want.

Sport for the brain:

If you walk in the streets of San Carlos you will recognise the Colombian culture. The people from San Carlos don’t watch TV or stare at their mobile phones after work. No, they are out on the streets socialising. You will find many people on the street playing card games or board games like chess. Join them, and you might catch some new Spanish words.

Conclusion:

It is definitely worth it to overcome your inner fears by getting out there and socialising. Not only to improve your body or mental strength, but also because It is a good opportunity to make some local friends and improve your Spanish. Don’t waste your time in big cities, go out to the Colombian countryside and everyone will welcome you with open arms!


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