Yes, I have returned from my three month trip to Ecuador with my husband and five-year-old daughter. After traveling in Latin America for 6 years, I finally took the opportunity to learn some Spanish. Not sure why I waited so long. Perhaps because my husband speaks Spanish. By the time we left, I still could not understand most of what people were saying to me, but I could find a way to communicate most things I needed to say. I realize now, what I always suspected to be true, I need to be immersed in a language in order to learn it.
It is wonderful to be back in my home country where I can understand everything that is going on around me (even more so now that I know some Spanish.) It’s great to see friends and sleep in my own comfy bed (all the beds in Ecuador were incredibly hard.) In retrospective, I can see how truly relaxed I was in our little apartment in Cuenca where all the busy work of my daily life was put aside for a while. I read a dozen novels, started a new manuscript, and hung out in coffee shops all afternoon. Knowing how much I can accomplish if I prioritize, I have returned with a new sense of motivation that I plan to enact any day now.