After ten months of trying to adapt to life in Spain, I was very excited at the prospect of moving to the UK last fall. I’d spent a nearly a year living in a city where I struggled to converse with everyone, so I was more than looking forward to living in a land where I already knew and understood the language.
I looked forward to easy conversations and no longer feeling afraid to go to the bank.
I looked forward to reading menus and signs without questioning what I thought I understood.
And boy, did I ever look forward to eavesdropping. I know this sounds bad, but trust me, when you can’t understand a single conversation going on around you, you really start to miss it.
I so naively believed knowing the language would make integrating into a new city and making friends a breeze, when in fact, now that I look back on it, it might have actually made it harder.