Justin Ferriman

personal

The new year has started and with it, I have a few goals in mind, one of which being my desire to progress to a more advanced level of Spanish.

Last year I spent most of my time in informal conversations. I just didnโ€™t have the energy to study formally with my teacher, so we would spend our hour-long Zoom calls just chatting.

In addition, Lorena and I spent six weeks in Mexico, and I felt like that helped to improve my comfort in conversations. I had my good days and bad days. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to learn a language in a world where everyone wears a mask.

Now that we have returned from yet another extended stay in Mexico, I feel like I am trapped at my current language level. If I am honest with myself, I would say that my comprehension and speaking abilities are at a B2. Not an advanced B2 by any means. There are days when I would say that I am B1, especially if I am tired.

My goal is to be advanced B2 (or low C1) by the end of 2022.

My first year of learning Spanish was 2020. I didnโ€™t know any, and by the end of the year I was at a pretty good A2 level. It wasnโ€™t easy getting there, but my gains were very noticeable as I was starting from nothing.

During that time, I had three to four classes per week with my tutor. We went through the structured workbook during our time together, and outside my lessons I would read, study vocabulary, and try to watch shows in Spanish (with subtitles).

2021 was the year of conversations, as I mentioned.

Which brings me to this year. I have a strong desire to progress to that next level, and I know that I need to follow a similar strategy as 2020 to achieve it. This means I need my lessons with my tutor to be more structured again so that I can learn the more advanced grammatical structures and vocabulary.

I am up for the challenge. My primary motivation is to better communicate with Lorena and her family in their native language. I also want to better understand Mexican culture, and the best way to do that is through language.

No sense in waiting, either, as my lessons start up again this week.

#personal


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It is the end of the year, and while I am quite busy with family events during the holiday, I am also keenly aware of the impact 2021 will forever have in my life.

The coming year will have milestones as well, but there was something special about this year that will be hard to beat. Things like:

  1. Getting married

  2. Selling my business

  3. Visiting (and shopping for a home) in Lake Tahoe

  4. Progressing in Spanish

  5. Traveling to Mexico

  6. Getting vaccinated

And so much more โ€“ such as having the opportunity to travel to Dallas, Vegas, Denver, Michigan, and Connecticut with Lorena.

Of course, this year has also had its hardships. Most notably, I lost my grandmother. That has been tough, and I find myself thinking about her daily. In a way, her passing has reminded me of how precious life actually is, and to not take anything, or anyone, for granted.

For now, we are ending the year in the same way that it started: busy and with family! We will be in Chicago, Michigan, Cancun, and Mexico City over the coming weeks.

After which, we come back to Austin โ€“ but only for a short period of time, as Lorena and I will be looking to make somewhere else our home in 2022.

Merry Christmas, and see you in the new year!

#personal


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Normally posts like this come at Thanksgiving, but truth is Iโ€™ll be too busy to write something by then, so Iโ€™m posting a week early. ๐Ÿ˜…

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, no doubt. Though that could be said for every year that I am alive and in good health. That said, three events that come to mind:

The older I get, the more I realize how lucky I truly am. Iโ€™m married to in incredible woman, I am part of a loving and supportive family, I have professional success beyond what I realized ever possible, and I have my mental & physical health.

This year, Lorena and I are going to Michigan to celebrate Thanksgiving. My brother and his family recently moved back to the U.S. from Germany, so it is the first time we all are together celebrating the holiday together (yet another thing to be grateful for)!

We will be relaxing, going to a hockey game (go Wings!) and heading to Ohio to visit my grandpa. Afterwards, we fly from Detroit to Mexico City for a quick trip to celebrate Lorenaโ€™s younger sister graduating from university.

Heading back to Austin, we will catch our breath briefly before doing the rounds again for Christmas and the new year!

#personal


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Lorena and I are off to Connecticut again to visit family. The trip is quick to celebrate a couple of birthdays, but itโ€™s means a little more than that to me.

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Lorena and I completed a trip to Lake Tahoe (and Reno, NV). It was two purposed: to relax, and to see if we might be interested in moving there in the near future, as life in Texas is not really for us.

The short of it is that we think we could see ourselves in Reno. Itโ€™s an interesting area with a lot of outdoor activity. Austin has a better city, but the surrounding area and weather make Reno tempting.

No decisions being made just yet. We want to visit some more places first before we make the decision to pack-up.

Until then, here are a few glimpses of the scenery around Tahoe. Itโ€™s absolutely stunning. If you havenโ€™t gone, grab an Airbnb. Itโ€™s worth it.

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For a number of years now, I have had an urge to take contribute to a non-profit cause. The problem is, I can never land on where to dedicate time and money.

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Today, I am grieving the loss of a special woman.

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As of writing this, I have been studying Spanish for a year and a half. Iโ€™m so close to fluency, all I need is one more push!

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