Let's burst that bubble in 2013!
Let's burst that bubble in 2013!
A new year calls for inspiration, for changes, for a fresh start. If you like challenges, here is one for you: How about bursting your bubble and enjoying the ultimate freedom in 2013?
The English bubble
It is a fact that many internationals live in the Netherlands but don’t speak Dutch. What’s more, if you ask them, they will probably tell you that one can easily survive without speaking the local language.
And it is (partly) true. It is easy to live in the so-called "English bubble," but let’s not see the tree and miss the forest here: no matter how cozy, comfy, warm, familiar etc. speaking English may feel, these people are living in a bubble. And bubbles are limiting them.
At the beginning it can be so easy; you just block out anything Dutch and in fact, you have quite a few options. Who would have thought? You came to a foreign country and you can cover (some of) your basic needs, at least in terms of communication.
But as time passes, don’t you notice that your options are getting fewer and fewer? Can’t you see that it’s getting more difficult to have that "extra" you were used to back in your own country?
So, why do so many people keep living - or should I say surviving - in a bubble? Why don’t they break free? Simply because it requires effort - it is easier to repeat all those excuses: it’s a difficult language, Dutch people speak English etc.
Speaking of Dutch people, have you ever wondered why the locals are so keen on speaking English? The reason is quite straightforward: because they don’t want to feel trapped either! The Netherlands is a small country and after a few years this may also create a claustrophobic feeling.
Just like you, Dutch people don’t like to live in a bubble. That is why they love to travel!
But you cannot burst your bubble if you don’t devote time and effort! I mean, is the English language that easy? Hardly, but you need it in order to secure your freedom.
It is not a matter of intelligence; it just comes down to these two simple truths:
› Be curious! Don’t settle with the basics; explore your new city, your new country, you new life. Accept that there is more than just the options the English language allows you to choose from and go for it.
› Realise that it is not about learning a language; it is about personal freedom! It is about enjoying a richer and more inspiring life.
A great investment
It is that easy? Let’s be realistic: it is not the easiest thing in the world. As mentioned above, it takes time and effort.
But just like any other investment, you should evaluate what you give and what you get. And in this case, you will get a new, complete, exciting life! The life you were dreaming of before leaving your country.
So, look for people that can really help you, take a deep breath, refuse to accept failure, and burst that bubble in 2013!
Albert Both is a specialist on learning Dutch fast and gaining Dutch fluency while having fun.
› Download his e-book "Why You Hate Learning Dutch and 7 Secrets to Change It,"
› Join his workshop "Finding Dutch Flow, How to Open The Flood Gate to Dutch Fluency,"
› Visit his website or simply comment below for inquiries / remarks. All free of charge!