MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
Language is a literal and linguistic tool that many believe is a fundamental basis of the way we think. Some have hypothesized (like the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) that many languages do not have room for certain thought patterns, and are able to alter our thoughts.
The underlying logic is just because there is no word in a certain language to express something, people who speak the language will not be able to think it, and if they learn a different language, new words and phrases are learned, leading to new ways of thinking.
The local language is the preferred route to understand the culture due to 2 reasons:
Learning a new language provides access to people who have different thoughts than our own, helping us understand ourselves and the world with a new insightful mindset that didn’t exist before.
Learning a new language, therefore is not just culture, but a way into the minds of people who are not like us.
If you want to learn a particular language, pick a place and stay put for a while. Then plan some travel after you've reached a moderate level of fluency.
Also, attempt to stop speaking your own language entirely during your trip. It will help avoid the temptation to fall into the bubble and will make practising much easier.
Flashcards can be a powerful learning tool, but they can also be a waste of time.
Open-ended tasks are any tasks that don't have a definite endpoint. Activities like "studying", "working" or "tweaking" waste your time and cause procrastination. "I should really study" is open-ended because it does not have a specific to-do list to learn the material.
A solution is to close all the ends. Set up specific to-do lists which outlines your tasks on what needs to be done. When the to-do list is completed, you stop.