I'm by no means a perfect traveler, but that doesn't mean I don't keep trying. I figure if I declare myself perfect, that means I have no room to grow and that would be boring. I often do things that make me wonder what I was thinking, but sometimes I do things that make me proudly say "That. Just. Happened." Some would call it being fierce. I hope you have some of those moments too. Today I have teamed with Fierce Fund to bring you one of my favorite fierce moments from my travels.
It's not always easy to communicate with others with there's a language barrier. You aren't going to be expected to speak every language fluently, nor do others expect it when you travel in their country. The point is that you try and learn from your experiences. My goal was to brush up on my Spanish before traveling to Ecuador. I did this by buying a game for my Nintendo DS called My Spanish Coach. In fact, we bought two copies, so Eric and I could practice at the same time. Not only was this a fun way to learn, but it helped me put together sentences, which has always been a problem for me. I highly recommend it for kids and adults alike. You can also get it for French, Japanese and Chinese (plus SAT, ESL and vocabulary).
I learned as much as I could in the months leading up to our trip, which I knew would only get me so far if everyone only spoke Spanish. I was still ready to test myself out. Eric didn't grow up in Arizona, taking Spanish classes, so I knew more than he did when we arrived and did most of the communicating. This brought me to my fierce moment of the trip. While wandering around Quito, we noticed that practically every third store front was a jewelry shop. This was our second year of being married and we never had traditional, matching wedding rings.
After browsing in several of these adorable shops, we picked a pair of rings we both really liked and I went inside and spoke to the sales woman. She only spoke Spanish, so with my language skills, I was able to convey to her what we were looking for and the rings we were interested in. She let us try them on and they fit perfectly. Fate! I was able to ask her how much they were and also learned a new word (par = pair). The pair were a bargain at regular price. We would have spent at least three times as much at home for the same thing.
While I may have failed miserably at taking directions to our mountain lodge - which I feel was not totally my fault, as the only real directions I had were to turn onto a road that had no sign and turn right at a school - I had no problems taking direction to the nearest ATM from the shop worker. Most stores there don't take credit cards, even if what you're buying is hundreds of dollars. So, I went off to the ATM, got cash and came back to make our purchase. We headed home from Ecuador with a new set of matching wedding bands and feeling super proud of myself. Go me!
Every woman has a story of strength and should be rewarded for being awesome. The Fierce Fund celebrates and encourages you to be fierce. I think the blue really works on me, no? This was just one of my stories. Do you have one you want to share? Comment below! And if you want to help Clever Girls Collective support women and girls to be Fierce, and lfind out more about the traveling blue wig, visit http://www.clevergirlscollective.com/fiercefund to learn more about this girl-power project and vote for a great organization to win a $20,000 grant!
Disclosure: I was sent this wig as a participant in the Traveling Blue Wig Project, but this story is 100% mine! Want to rock this awesome Peggy Sue blue? Get one here.