This post might seem early but completing this task will probably take the most time. Since we plan to base ourselves in each country for at least a month, it makes sense to know some language basics before we go.
During my solo backpacking life, I used to ensure I knew the language basics before disembarking. Phrases like hello and goodbye, counting up to 100, the days of the week, directions and how to book a hotel room were something I would normally invest a couple hours learning. Something happened the last few years where this fell by the wayside. I attribute this to staying in western style hotels where English is often enough to get by in that setting. For this upcoming trip I think it is important to get back to our traveling roots and spend the time to engage with locals in their language. The most basic reason is that it really is the polite and respectful thing to do. The benefit for us in the long term is that any language basics we acquire should make each stay a little bit more stress free. We know we will get in some jams. Knowing the language might help us make the right decision at a critical time.Continue reading