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Returning from Japan, there was much to reflect on. It was a memorable trip. There were indescribable moments that I will forever hold close, moments that left an imprint of why travel is important to me. Getting an opportunity to connect with locals through language was one highlight that stood out. Kyoto, Japan

Throughout the trip, I kept thinking how there is such a large difference between my culture and the Japanese culture. But no matter how wide the gap was in culture, there were still so many ways to connect. Whether it was small gestures, like a small bow in passing or a warm smile, it was evident that we could still connect as human beings. One way that I was able to connect even more in Japan was through language.

It was day two of the trip and I was in a small moment of needing to ask for a clarification on a price that I was thankful for the past months of learning how to speak Japanese with Rosetta Stone. This first opportunity to use what I had learned opened the door to the rest of the trip, using conversational Japanese I had practiced prior. Shimokitizawa, Japan

There was an evident difference in practicing and learning Japanese from the safety of my home and then using it in real person. Walking into the trip, I had my anxieties in using the language. I think the biggest factor that helped me speak confidently (even when the accent or pronunciation was off) was the months of practice. With Rosetta Stone, the activities that helped repeat phrases and words imprinted on my mind and made it easier to find the words I was looking for in the heat of a moment.

I started seeking small ways to use the language. My favorites were things like ordering at a restaurant, asking for directions or time, and greeting locals. It was basic, but helped grow strength in using this new language. My husband and I joked that ordering coffee was my go-to phrase. What I had learned through Rosetta Stone also came in handy for explaining my shrimp allergy — most thought it was a shellfish allergy, but it is just shrimp. With a few sentences, I could ask if there was any shrimp in the dish and be sure that it was safe to go!

Speaking Japanese With Rosetta Stone (Part 3)

During the trip, one thing I found with using the Japanese I had learned was the reaction from the locals. Most were completely surprised that I knew enough to have a conversation. I could tell through a few experiences that knowing their language and culture meant the world — something I think is uber important when visiting a new country. Their appreciation was endearing and I loved when they would help correct me. This opportunity to connect through language in Japan was something I had never experienced before, and without the lessons on Rosetta Stone, I would not have been able to do it. 

I am excited to continue my lessons in Japanese, as I love the challenge of learning this foreign language, and look forward to the next time I get to use it. Thank you for following along through this journey of learning Japanese with Rosetta Stone. It’s been fun to get to share the process with you, and as a huge thanks for the support, I am giving away three 12-month online subscriptions to Rosetta Stone on Instagram today! Head to Instagram and be sure to enter for your chance to win!

*Thank you to Rosetta Stone for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.


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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

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Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

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Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

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Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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