Mexico City has always been on my bucket list. I COULD NOT wait to explore all the neighborhoods, sights, and restaurants I’d read about on so many blogs. My main goal to visit though, and the catalyst that pushed me to finally go? I had spent 2 months relearning Spanish with Rosetta Stone and was eager to finally put my skills to the test!!
Without giving too much away right off the bat, I’ll just preface this post with one dramatic (but true) statement: This trip changed my life. I’ll explain in depth, but I truly left Mexico with a new sense of purpose and excitement for the future. And it all transpired from my little Rosetta Stone app. The connections I made, the confidence I gained from connecting with a place and the people so deeply… ❤️. l left Mexico City feeling like a new human. I’ve been itching to share this news with you guys, but FIRST. Let’s talk logistics behind the app that made all the magic happen…
How Rosetta Stone Works
In case you missed my blog on learning French with Rosetta Stone, here’s all the basics you need to know…
- Rosetta Stone is an online language learning program you can use on both your computer or phone.
- Each interactive lesson mimics a game! Think matching games where you match a picture to a phrase, or repeat a phrase back to your virtual instructor. You won’t be able to proceed to the next lesson without earning a passing score!
- Lessons are broken up into a variety of categories (shown below). This prepares you to speak Spanish in ALL areas of life.
- TruAccent identifies just how accurate your pronunciation is, meaning you get great verbal practice even without a classroom setting.
- Core lessons take about 30 minutes to complete and focus on everything that goes into learning a language: Pronunciation, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, etc.
- You can dowload lessons and access them offline. This makes it easy to learn on the go, while traveling, or without WiFi.
- You can download a vocabulary cheat sheet with every important word/phrase you need to maneuver real-life situations.
- There’s the option to schedule a LIVE tutoring session after you’ve completed a few lessons. This is great for putting your conversation skills to the test or asking any additional questions you may have.
- Pricing works on a subscription basis. Just choose whichever package fits your budget and the amount of months you’d like to learn!
Rosetta Stone vs. Classroom Learning: Which is Better?
In my opinion, Rosetta Stone’s approach to learning is MUCH more natural than a classroom setting. This is mainly because it’s geared towards conversational language skills that you can use in everyday life. In a classroom, you’re forced to memorize conjugations and a long lists of vocab words all via a boring textbook. With Rosetta Stone on the other hand, you’re repeatedly exposed to all these language elements in a game-style format. For me, this resulted in a much deeper understanding of each lesson. And it was MUCH more entertaining than textbook learning! To see what I’m talking about, you can test out a live demo of the app here!
With Rosetta Stone being an online web/mobile app, it allows you to study whenever it’s convenient for your schedule. Plus, you can learn in the comfort of your own home!
Rosetta Stone’s affordable subscription pricing makes language learning attainable to all different types of budgets. I basically save all my money for travel so this is a huge plus to me ?. A year-long subscription plan is as low as $5.99/month, where classes or tutors are priced anywhere from $10-$50 a session!
After learning Spanish in both a classroom and online setting, I would hands-down choose Rosetta Stone for lots of reasons.
First and foremost, Rosetta Stone’s biggest goal is to teach its students to actually SPEAK languages. As a traveler especially, I want to be able to communicate in Spanish with locals and use it in my daily life. The Spanish I learned in a classroom always felt more geared towards using Spanish in just a classroom setting. For example, we’d memorize words to pass a test or know what to say when the teacher called on us. None of that would translate though in the real world. Sure, I could confidently write or read in Spanish because of these classes. However, I felt completely lost when actually having to speak Spanish in a foreign country.
My experience in Mexico though after relearning Spanish with Rosetta Stone was completely different…
My Experience Speaking Spanish in Mexico City
After just two short months relearning Spanish with Rosetta Stone, I hopped off my plane in Mexico SO excited to get to talking!! I wasn’t feeling anxious or shy, like I used to be with my Spanish. I was ready!
On arrival, it helped me communicate with taxis exactly where I wanted to go. I asked the concierge questions about activities and recommendations. I read every menu and ordered for my boyfriend and I at every restaurant/street food stand. Best of all, as a traveler, I could ask questions or for directions whenever I was lost or confused. By the end, I was even able to enjoy conversations with locals about life in Mexico City. I talked to them about their families and their favorite Mexican dishes, and favorite CDMX sights. By the end of the trip, I even went WAY out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to the extreme!! I spoke in Spanish for a full day on my IG Stories (check out my “Rosetta Stone” highlights if you haven’t seen yet)!
All these little conversations and connections resulted solely because of my new Spanish speaking abilities. It’s safe to say they completely transformed my experience in CDMX. I felt safe, at ease, and CONFIDENT while exploring. Because of that, I felt so deeply connected to Mexico City and the people that call it home. It truly made me realize how much we miss out on as travelers when we’re not able to communicate with and understand our surroundings. Without words, it’s so easy to feel out of place, stressed, and completely detached from a place. It’s actually a feeling I’ve grown even too accustomed to over my years of traveling! But this totally turned me on to a whole new way of traveling. So much so that it’s inspired to me to continue chasing these meaningful connections in every place I go…?
Exciting things to come…
Travel has always been about fostering connections for me. With the locals, with the land, with the culture, with myself! It’s always helped me put life into perspective. It’s shown me how we as human beings are ALL connected and have much more in common than we think. And it always reminds me how big our world is and how many meaningful connections we can have when we get off the couch and experience new people and places.
After social media became such a huge part of career, I kind of forgot all this along the way. I became consumed with capturing the perfect picture and telling picture perfect stories that I ultimately forgot what made me fall in love with traveling in the first place.
With all these realizations- I feel super grateful for Rosetta Stone and how much meaning it gave this trip. On a grand scale, it reminded me of my “WHY” when it comes to travel and just life in general…
Since I was a little girl, human connection has always been so intertwined in [what I perceive to be] my bigger purpose. It was age 13 when I knew I wanted to be a special education teacher. It’s always something I felt destined for and felt completely alive and fulfilled when doing. I lost sight of this passion though somewhere along my travel blogging journey. I felt as if I had to choose one job or other- I could never do both.
But this trip it all clicked. I can combine these two passions ? And I have the choice to chase only these types of meaningful travel experiences if I wish. I’ve had my fun over the years traveling for ME and working alone behind my computer screen, but now I want to travel for OTHERS. I want to foster those human connections that I was missing in my life.
Since returning from Mexico City, I’ve had a lot of exciting plans I’ve dreamed up for the future. Most of those plans involve volunteer trips where I’ll work as a special education aide. And I plan to do so in Spanish-speaking countries to continue my goal towards becoming fluent. So stay tuned for this shift and for updates on my progress 🙂
I’ve been feeling so whole again thinking about what this next year has in store. I had always felt like a piece of me was missing when I left my job as a Special Eduction aide. To be able to finally fill that space, and do so with travel nonetheless, my heart has never felt so full. I can feel it, 2020 is going to be the best year yet ✨
If you want to join me in my Spanish (or any language!) speaking journey with Rosetta Stone, click here ! I’d love to have you guys join me on this ride!!
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*This post is in partnership with Rosetta Stone, but all opinions are my own.