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What a holiday in Italy and learning German have in common

Today, I send you many greetings from Tuscany. Have you been there before?

For our family, Italy is like a piece of home. We lived near Milan for a few years and my second child was born there.

Almost every year, we return and vacation here. We meet good friends and discover new places and cities.

This year we are in Tuscany for two weeks.

We - that's our family, so my husband and I and our four children.

High up, on a mountain, we have found an apartment in a beautiful old farmhouse - a typical "agriturismo".

The "road" (if you can call it that) to this house is extremely steep and very narrow.

When we first arrived there after an 8-hour drive, I was sitting behind the wheel. At first, I was happy: we'll be there soon! But then... came the mountain.

I drove up the first stretch in our big car (unfortunately, with four kids, you need a big vehicle) with a pounding heart and growing inner panic.

Then I had the feeling: "I can't do this". There was a flat spot, and I stopped: "I'd rather carry all the suitcases up one by one than go even a meter further!"

Luckily, my husband grew up in Bavaria in the mountains. He doesn't think steep roads are that bad - and drove up with us without any problems. Uff.

At the top, the view is simply stunning.

It's not so hot anymore either because there's always a fresh breeze.

die Toskana

Right now I'm sitting on the terrace with an Aperol Spritz and thinking about this steep way up.

For me, it's like a symbol for so many things in life.

At first, you only see the destination. Here it was for me

  • the photos on the Internet and

  • of course the wonderful weather,

  • the Italian cheerfulness and

  • a relaxed vacation with the whole family.

And you go on your way.

That was for me first of all the 8-hour drive. It takes a long time, but it's not that bad, especially if you have a good time.

But then: very shortly before the destination the steep mountain.

I did try it, after all. And I had already reached the halfway point - that's when I said, "I'm not going to make it".

At such times, we need someone who'll literally take the wheel and take us along.

So many of my German learners have moments like this, too.

As a teacher, I see all the progress they have already made. But, at one point, their courage suddenly leaves them, and they say, "I can't do this. The grammar is too complicated, or they are afraid to speak.

Then, they need someone to help them progress and reach their goal.

In language learning, this can be a good friend who is also learning German. Or a language course that turns the difficult path into doable lessons. Or a tandem partner. There are so many possibilities!

The important thing is not to give up, but to seek help and find a way.

That's how we all get up the steepest mountains and can then enjoy the view.


P.S.: In a moment, we'll go to the pool.

That means: walking another 5 minutes up a steep path. The walk is not a pleasant at all - it is exhausting, and dusty and there are many mosquitoes.

But we have a goal: happy hours in and around the cool water!

What help do you have with learning German?

Write it in the comments - that way you can help other German learners.


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