Everyone dreams about traveling to an exotic, far-flung corner of the globe. The problem is that you often encounter unfamiliar cultures and run into a language barrier in these destinations. Once you get over the culture shock, experiencing a new culture can actually be one of the highlights of your trip. But then there is still the language barrier. This can be compounded if you are trying to handle the logistics of a special event such as a destination wedding or a honeymoon, or if you just want to have the perfect vacation.
Private resorts and villas have staff who can help you with anything that you could possibly need. But did you know that in some far flung destinations, English is actually the language of choice? Or at the very least, everyone you encounter will have a working knowledge of the language. In these anglophone countries, you can actually get out and experience the local culture for yourself without having to deal with a language barrier. This can make your trip that much richer and more memorable.
Here are three exotic locations where English is commonly spoken by local people outside of the tourist areas.
Belize was formerly known as British Honduras. One of the legacies of this colonial past is the English language. That’s right, this is the only country in Central America that does not have a large population of Spanish speakers. Locals speak the sometimes-difficult-to-understand Belize creole, which is based on English, but everyone can switch into “formal” English as well.
You won’t give up anything by going to Belize instead of, say, Costa Rica or Panama. The country has everything that these other nations are famous for in tourist circles. Belize boasts beautiful beaches and ancient Mayan ruins. You can explore virgin rain forests or spend your time on the water. And did you know that the largest barrier reef in the Americas is located off the coast of Belize. If you are a diver or kayaker (or if you enjoy glass bottom boat tours), this is one of the best destinations in the Americas. Also, some of the best resorts on Central America’s Caribbean coastline are located in Belize. Cayo Espanto, for example, is a private island resort with only seven villas, each set apart from the others. Places like this not only give you luxury, you'll also get to enjoy access to the beaches, diving, other water sports and lush tropical landscapes.
India is one of the world’s largest countries. Its regions are very different from one another. However, they have one thing in common: most people can speak English. Because each region has a different local language, English has become a lingua franca. This is especially true for white color workers and students, but most people in India have at least basic English.
India is best known for its teeming cities and ancient religious sites, but it also has some of the world’s best safari experiences. In Rajasthan, for example, luxury safari camps put people face-to-face with Kiplingesque landscapes and wildlife including rare tigers and forest elephants. These are classic safari vacations, with luxurious tented suites and sumptuous feasts of local foods. The Serai, near the colorful city of Jaisalmer, is the perfect example of this type of venue.
Zambia is another country that was once part of the British Empire. English is still widely spoken here, though you can often hear other languages as well. In tourist areas, everyone you encounter will speak English quite well. You will be able to carry on a conversation with almost anyone you meet in Zambia’s cities. If you explore the countryside in depth, you will likewise be able to find English speakers (though not everyone will be able to have a conversation with you).
Zambia is actually one of Africa’s most underrated tourist destinations. You can access the famous Victoria Falls and explore vast untouched regions that are still teeming with wildlife. The best accommodations in Zambia can put you in contact with all the awesome traits of this southern African nation at the same time. Tongebezi,for example, sits near Victoria Falls. Defined by luxurious and airy traditional villas, Tongabezi is far enough upriver from the falls that you can enjoy plenty of peace and quiet. In addition to the trips to Victoria, which is within walking distance, guests can go on safari drives and boat trips on the river.
If you have been recently bitten by the international travel bug, one of these destinations might be perfect for your first trip or second overseas trip. They can give you all the excitement of visiting a foreign land without forcing you to deal with a language barrier.
What far-flung English speaking countries have you been to? Use the comments section to let us know.