There’s something refreshing about the Spring season.
Nature all around us starts to show forms of life. The days become longer, the sun gets warmer and the desire to be travel continues to grow. In 2020, UK residents made 23.8 million visits abroad, which was 74% fewer than the previous year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Covid-19 travel restrictions ease across the world, the excitement of travelling has sparked up once again. Although I am sure we are well aware, studies have also proven the health benefits. There are also positive impacts on children when you travel as a family. For example, Dr Margot Sunderland found that an enriched environment triggers the brain fertilisers. These are associated with higher IQ in kids. So exploring a new place together, can help your child’s intelligence! Now, the health benefits are definite perks but I’m sure you’re wondering where exactly you should go this year.
- Puerto Rico
- Hong Kong
Before you start planning an itinerary, have you considered what language your destination country speaks? In order to completely immerse yourself into a country, it is deemed beneficial to have an understanding of the language. Don’t worry, not only have we collated the best places to travel this Spring but also the languages they speak!
Amongst the deserts, mountains and fantastically poured tea, Morocco is the place to be this Spring. This North African country has an intertwined history with European nations France and Spain. However, it ultimately started as the first major Muslim dynasty. As a result, the official language of Morocco is now Arabic. You’re likely to find people speaking a type of Moroccan Arabic. Which is typically used on a conversational level, and a modern standard Arabic in governments, education, and the news. There are even large parts of Morocco still influenced by the French invasions. So you can find people switching to French in certain areas.
I myself have had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful country. Take my advice, I would recommend learning Arabic or French at a conversational level before embarking on your trip. It makes exploring the country a lot easier and you’re less likely to encounter misunderstandings along the way. Not to worry though, our tutors here at Learn&Co can get you up to speed in no time!
What To Do In Morocco
Okay, so you might be thinking “why travel to Morocco during the Spring in the first place?”. Well, for starters unless you can withstand temperatures of up to 36℃ of dry heat in the summer. I think Spring is a more enjoyable time to visit! There are various activities for you to take part in, without melting due to the hot sun! The popular sites such as the Sahara Desert or Atlas Mountains should be included in your itinerary. Although, there’s more to Morocco than its scenic nature.
For all you who admire music and spirituality, book your trip during the Sufi Cultural Festival. It is an 8-day celebration in April within the imperial city of Fes, honouring Sufi music and spirituality. You can expect to see ritual performances of morning poetry readings, films and oriental art. The festival provides an opportunity for visitors to discover Morocco’s spiritual heritage and to display a side of Islam that is not often understood.
Malta is one of the islands within the European Union. After leaving the British Empire to become its own Republic in 1964, it has become a home away from home for many British nationals. As a result of its turbulent history and part to play in the World Wars, Malta’s official language became Maltese and English. The Maltese are renowned for their warmth, hospitality, and generosity to strangers, therefore you would have no issues practising your English skills in this country! If you’re wondering how to approach this whilst away, we speak all about how you can maximise your language skills when abroad in this article.
The Malta International Firework Festival
When you visit Malta in the Spring, you’re able to avoid the foot traffic of numerous other tourists common in the peak summer season. Since the country lies within the Mediterranean Sea, you can benefit from warm weather all year round. From golden beaches across Malta and Gozo to sail boat riding across the marinas, there is an air of relaxation that will follow you throughout your visit. One thing to note is the spectacular festivals that take place during the Spring. The Malta International Fireworks Festival is a perfect event for the whole family. It takes place once a year at the end of April in Valletta, the capital of Malta.
Another one of interest is the Festa Frawli. If strawberries are one of your favourite fruits then you’ll be in for a treat. This festival takes place around early April where the strawberries are fresh, sweet and in season. Visitors can enjoy traditional Maltese entertainment with local instruments, such as iż-żaqq (Maltese bagpipes), it-tambur (Maltese tambourine) and il-flejguta (Maltese folk flute). If you fancy tasting strawberry wine, liquors, and cocktails at the Gin Bar, you’ll certainly enjoy your stay in Malta.
This small country bordered by The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France is a nation filled with history. After becoming independent from the Netherlands in 1830, Belgium continues to be a pillar of its motto ‘unity makes strength.’ Belgium decided to adopt 3 official languages: French, Dutch and German. To understand the differences in these dialects, contact us here at Learn&Co. Our patient and experienced language tutors are sure to clear up any confusions or questions you may have.
Smell the flowers
For all you nature lovers, visiting Belgium in the Spring will be a trip you won’t forget! As the country starts to warm up, after the winter months you are able to see Spring in full force. The Tulip Fields across the country will have your eyes gaze in wonderment. Between early-mid April, there are a number of places around Belgium you can visit to get a great look. To see them in full bloom, take a trip to places such as Meerdonk, Castle Groot-Bijgaarden and Alden Biesen.
Across the pond, in the North-East of the Caribbean Sea lies Puerto Rico. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Puerto Rico isn’t actually a country! As a result of its strong cultural identity, many people believe this small island is another country within South America. However, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth governed by the United States, this means that it is neither a state nor an independent country. With its official language being Spanish, you’re sure to feel the tropical vibe as soon as you step off the plane.
Fun in the sun
As Spring draws near, hurricane season is over and the sun-filled days in Puerto Rico are worth the trip. If you don’t add the Día Nacional de la Salsa festival to your itinerary, you will miss the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in this country’s culture. This annual salsa music festival is held in March. You can expect to enjoy food and dancing in the exciting environment created by thousands of people enjoying the festivities. For those of you looking for a little more adventure on your travels, why not try the El Yunque Off the Beaten Path Hiking Tour. Known as America’s only rainforest. This tour will guide you through majestic views of hidden waterfalls, as well as providing a scenic route to hike through the rainforest.
On the beautiful continent of Africa, is where we’ll find our next destination. Mozambique is one of the less spoken about ones within Africa but with its tropical climate and dense history it’s certainly a showstopper. The country was under Portuguese rule for over 4 centuries, whilst providing natural minerals and agricultural products in return. Yet, in 1975 they were able to gain independence. Although they engaged in a strenuous civil war shortly after, the country settled down and began life as an independent nation. Not surprisingly, the country adopted Portuguese as one their official languages due to the lingering effects of colonisation.
We all want to experience things we couldn’t try at home, when we’re on holiday. To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, why not try Scuba diving? Mozambique are famous for having one of the most ideal waters for this adventurous activity. If you plan to dive for the first time, or are a seasoned divemaster, Mozambique waters are ideal. The rich waters brings with it various marine life such as whale sharks, manta rays, humpback whales and the infamous bull shark. As a result of its warm water being around 27˚C, visibility is often around 30 metres. Don’t worry though, if you’re not ready to throw yourself to the sharks, most SCUBA centres also offer the option of an ocean safari or snorkelling trips!
Heading back a little closer to home, we have Austria. Austria dates back to the Stone Age but the name of Austria has been in use since 996 AD. The region was called Ostarrîchi and its history contains a long tale full of conquest, empire, conflict, and royalty. One aspect that has remained throughout the years is the country’s fondness for indulgence, beauty, and cultivation.
spend time with the locals
It’s clear to see when you take a stroll through Hallstatt City. The village of Hallstatt is such a spectacular place, the Chinese have even created a copy of the ancient salt mine village! However, the original mountainous city lies in western shore of Austria. Filled with panoramic views, tasty local cuisine and historic churches this tiny city received a million visitors in 2018. This was a staggering, 347 times more tourists per capita than Hong Kong, one of the world’s most visited cities. As it is a small town, before visiting you’d definitely benefit from learning some of its official language – German.
I know people often speak of the difficulty in learning this language. However our tutors here at Learn&Co will be able to simplify and break down any complicated terms that appear. To get you started off now, why not check out our top 10 German series and films to help you facilitate your learning.
Last but certainly not least, we have the infamous nation of Hong Kong. Similar to Puerto Rico, Hong Kong is not a country in its traditional sense but is actually a Special Administrative Region. It is known as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China, meaning it enjoys its own limited autonomy as defined by the Basic Law. I’m sure you might have guessed it’s official language to be Chinese, the number one language with the most native speakers in the world.
climb to the top
Travelling to Hong Kong in the Spring might not be the first country that comes to mind but here’s why it’s worth the trip! As the humidity disappears and the pink blooms of the Bauhinia flower become visible, it’s truly a magnificent sight. A cultural highlight to visit is the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha. This monumental figure was unveiled in 1993 and has 263 steps leading up to see the Big Buddha. Along the journey there are various other sites and mountain views to keep you entertained on your climb. It is meant to symbolise a harmonious relationship between man and nature and took 12 years to complete.
If stairs aren’t really your thing, you can jump on the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system! The Central Mid-level escalator which also opened in 1993, runs for over 800m and rises over 135m in elevation, from Queen’s Road Central up to Conduit Road. Essentially made to reduce the foot traffic within the dense urban areas within Hong Kong, these escalators are now a huge tourist attraction for all around the world.
From Europe, to Asia, to Africa, there are a whole heap of places to visit in the Spring. Having the freedom to travel again is certainly exciting, yet knowing the languages of the country or countries you choose to visit, will make it that much more enjoyable. There are many different ways you could choose to start your language learning journey, however, I would recommend requesting a consultation with one of our tutors here at Learn&Co. We’ll be sure to point you in the right direction of your new adventure.