Outback. Way outback.Here’s the thing. I used to speak English perfectly as it is, after all, my native language. That was before I lived short term in an Australian Hostel.

Since beginning my trip here in Australia, I have met the most amazing people. The Boy from Berlin, The Man from Melbourne, The Girls of Germany, The Beauty from Holland, The Woman from France, The Feisty Girl from the UK, The Sweetheart from Japan, The Balding Tourist and The Football Kid from USA, and The Shy Girl from Taiwan. The list will go on as wide as the world is big, as will the languages we’re all so used to speaking when we’re in the comfort of our home.

We sit around long tables and talk about our day, our plans, our future but hardly our past while we eat spicey Ramen Noodles, Passion Fruit, Tacos, or Fried Chicken and there is something exotically beautiful when the world comes together to eat, and share, and laugh at the same table. I learn to say Guten Morgen, Ich liebe dich, Shalom, and Konnichiwa, all the while learning to speak English in a whole new way. “Thank you for teaching to me English!” Japan’s sweetheart says with enthuse. I respond, “No! Thank you for teaching to me English!” We laugh and say it repeatedly in the backseat of an old tour van on our way home from another day of adventuring.

The Feisty Girl corrects me according to her version of English all the time. A jumper is sweater and not a romper which is a play suit, and when you need to pee, actually, you need to wee though either form will work. Also, there are two types of going out; there is going out, and there is going ‘Out Out’, which she says in her fabulous accent I’d like to master some day. I figure it out quickly and tell her in Canada when we say ‘Out Out’ the same way she does with her accent and forgetful to pronounce her ‘t’s‘, typically construction workers are yelling it to a beautiful woman to tell them her she looks good, like, ‘Ow OW!’. We laugh and every time she goes ‘Out Out’ with her friends I’ll yell after her, Ow OW!

It fascinates me that we can come together, so different, and learn to connect where we can. Even my English, my first language, has become something broken and yet its beautiful in its filling out, in its understanding of others.

See I used to speak English perfectly, but that was before I understood there is a wide world of breaking English to which I have barely scratched the surface.

The thing about knowing myself is that I must stretch and grow even where I subconsciously believe I know well enough. I must be willing to always be the student, allowing the world in her breaking and constructing English to teach me, and teach me even more. Because it is here we sit together, the whole world, and learn to laugh, to sit, and live together; to live full. And though it isn’t easy, learning to speak with the world, my goodness it is beautiful.