After two of my best friends passed away, literally one after the other back in 2010. Life forced me to look at my journey with a new light.
I always knew life was short. But this made me realise how even going to sleep at night was a risk. The risk being that, I may never wake up.
Shortly after, and without hesitation, I quit my previous life plan. From that day on, I decided to live a life of uncertainty. One of the major things I did that lead me to creating Layer Culture was this idea of travelling to new and different cultures.
RIP Kola Lucas / RIP John Plant
Deciding to Learn Spanish
On arrival to the UK after my first trip to South America. I began to connect with my truth. By that point, I felt stuck in-between two worlds and there was no turning back.
I liked the idea of uncertainty because I’d already had the realisation that the patterns of my day-to-day life were no longer exciting me.
I always like the idea of learning Spanish when I was a younger. I talked about learning a language as a teenager. Now was the time to make a decision to learn Spanish as an adult and that’s how I started.
By immersing myself into a culture before making a decision. I began to realise there’s much more to learning a language than just speaking it. I wanted to feel the culture deep inside of me.
Layer Culture became a personal development project. It was the beginning of a spiritual quest and realisation.
Solo travel has become my area of expertise over the past few years. I created a list of resources for you here. You’ll find this blog useful whether or not you’re interested in learning Spanish.
My goal is to inspire you with my journey and my mission to becoming fluent in Spanish. Either way, you can always hold me accountable for talking about the following topics:
- Learning Spanish – How to learn Spanish
- Solo Travel – Tips and advice
- Latin America – Customs and Lifestyle
- Journaling – Me connecting with my truth
I still write in my travel journals. They began as conversations with myself about myself. I’ve started re-reading them and I’ll be adding more here. If you’re just looking for travel inspiration, and information about being in Latin America, this blog is you. Looking back, I have managed to innovate my life through solo travel. Just so you know.
These trips of growth have all been for my own self-exploration. All this started with a decision I made to start learning Spanish.
Going solo isn’t for Everyone
Since travelling to Latin America to learn Spanish. I have cultivated ideas about working as a digital nomad and becoming location independent. It now seems impossible to go back to my old way of thinking. Back to the days when I was a graduate looking for entry level jobs.
Anybody with an internet connection can innovate their life in someway. The reason I designed this blog was to share my knowledge, tips and tricks. Mostly importantly, how I got started as Travelpreneur in Latin America.
P.S. You don’t have to travel to be able to innovate your life. I’ve used Solo travel as a tool. This style of travelling has been one of the most effective ways (I’ve found) to grow as a person so far.
Solo travel helped me to break away from enclosed civilised living and re-connect with the meaning of life. Learning Spanish was a goal I created to facilitate travel.
After living in over 5 new countries. I have began to build a location independent lifestyle. This allows me to live life in a way that is unique to me. One of my goals, is to eventually help friends, family and strangers do the same. If not, then at least something similar.
In November 2015 I moved to Buenos Aires, check out the video I made below:
By 2013 I quickly realised that I’d been doing life all wrong. This is the funny part. It still took me another 2 years to fully awaken. However this was only the beginning of my awakening. Many things happened all in a short period of time. First it was John, then Kola. I was studying for Bachelor of Arts Degree, in a long term relationship and living city that was away from home.
The Game Changer
Then, I split up with my girlfriend. After 7 years I realised that I had been lying to myself. The previous for 4 years, I had been a coward. Sat at 24, in front of my girlfriends parents TV, knowing there was more to my life. In hindsight, I was oblivious to what I had to do to change my circumstance. I had to make changes nobody else wanted to see.
That was a terrifying moment. Nobody else I knew of at that time wanted me to change to who I was becoming.
The idea of solo travel never occurred to me. But actually was something that I’d been doing all my life. For some people the word solo implies negative connotations. Especially for those who can’t stand being alone. These connotations can be alleviated, depending how creative you are.
Along my Spanish learning journey, I’ve had to learn how to trust in locality. I’ve often had to open up myself to people I’d never met before. Opening up to other about who I am helped me to leave some of my history behind.
From experience, I can say that solo travel is a journey like no other. It can be a tough journey for extended periods of time. But it allows you to be in new places living on your own accord – with no distractions (if you choose) and, not having to rely on others.
I ask every person I meet if they’ve ever traveled solo, and will continue to wish for everybody to try solo travel at least once in their lifetime.
A Call to Action
After reading the book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover I learned that in order to reach manhood every young boy must undertake some type of ritual process to transform his boy energies into man energies. Unlike tribal cultures, we are lacking modern ritual processes for making men out of boys.
I believe that Solo travel as a self exploration tool can lead to transformation, especially in your early 20’s.
Whilst travelling solo over the past 3 years I’ve been on a constant learning journey. One programme that provided me with many tools is the 67 steps programme. Listening to prolific ideas from the greatest minds in history. Finding new ways to apply their thoughts and to improve the quality of my life, gives me the power to be able to contribute more to the human experience.
Why travel solo?
Often, it can feel quite insular travelling alone for extended periods of times. Personally I found it very easy to meet new people and other travellers along the way. But learned how difficult it can be for newbie travellers to gain authentic local experiences. Especially if they don’t speak the local language. Learning how to learn Spanish is a great way to gain these authentic local experiences.
I feel that when you’re in a foreign place and you travel solo, you can immerse yourself in the culture much easier. Being alone will give you the space and time to intermingle with locals, spending true quality time.
Learning Spanish, mixed with solo travel, has taught me that I can’t do everything alone. This is one reason why I began to share my learning experiences online. I believe one of the most important aspects of solo travel and learning languages today is, building a support group. Whether online or in person. I make sure I have both available at any one time. Having a inner circe has made a huge difference to my quality of travel.
I even created my own private community on Facebook for people interested in travelling, living or working in Latin America.
I’ve made this available to all subscribers of Layer Culture.
A lifestyle choice
Many friends of mine consider me a maverick. This is purely because of my lifestyle choices. What many friends don’t realise is that I began to make these choices shortly after my best friends passed away.
Now you know why, I trust you to understand. The truth is, I’m on my own path and have accepted my own way of living. I like living minimal. I believe living with with less is a decision we have to make, eventually. Especially to be able to live peacefully in a world that keeps giving us more.
Here are some achievements I’ve made since moving towards a location independent lifestyle:
- Learning Latin American Spanish
- Living with less material items
- Making new friends for life
- Creating a physical business in Latin America
- Changing my diet
- Building an online Business
One of the best things I’ve done for my personal development is learning Spanish. I’ve noticed that studying and practicing daily improves my memory and mental sharpness.
Here is one the best platforms I’ve used to help me learn Spanish.
How can you benefit
Think of Layer Culture as your personal guide to solo travel in Latin America. Solo travel can open so many door for you. This blog documents all the doors I’ve come across on my Spanish learning journey. Over time you’ll see me moving closer towards fluency in Spanish.
Are you interested in learning Spanish? If that’s a yes, I’ll show you the some of my personal tricks and techniques to how I learned basic Spanish in just 3 weeks.
Below are 5 links to learn more about me. These articles stem from a very personal account. Many based from conversations I’ve had in the past.
- 5 things about Dan
- Travelpreneur: How I got started
- Trip Report Mexico [Part 1]
- What is a trip of growth
- Books I’m reading
Every time I travel solo I try to improve it in some way. I observe how I travel. Check out my solo travel resources list. Sometimes I like to document the journey. I shoot videos and take photographs of the people, places and objects that inspire me.
I’ve gone so far down the road of Latin America. The culture, learning Spanish etc that now, there is no going back. My wish is to carry on learning more about the continent whilst I continue to add value. Speak Spanish and create new opportunities for the people I meet.
Thank you for reading,