S4, E1: Laura – A Belgian World Traveler
January 27, 2020
Being born and raised in Belgium, a country with three official languages, has surely shaped Laura’s perception of the world. While growing up, she spoke Dutch at home and learned German, French and English at school. Crazy, right?
How fascinating is it that in Belgium everything is subtitled (as opposed to dubbed). From TV shows to movies and the news, you get to hear the whole thing in the original language! At a very young age, Laura discovered how listening to the original voices broadens our perspective of the world.
“Your voice and your expressions are part of who you are.” (Laura, 15:15)
However, living in such an environment doesn’t mean she didn’t encounter friction when traveling the world. When she first traveled alone abroad, she discovered how difficult it is to express one’s emotions and feelings in a foreign language.
Now, she knows that communication is not only about words, but also about facial expressions, gestures, tone, melody… Language and communication are part of who we are.
Laura Vander Kerken is a 27 year old Belgian who has participated in exchange programs in such countries as the US, Spain, France and England. She is addicted to learning foreign languages and experiencing new cultures. Recently she and her Spanish husband biked from Belgium to Spain, then backpacked in Colombia and Ecuador, on the ultimate dream honeymoon. Laura, who is now working in the tourism sector in Belgium, plans to keep on dreaming and traveling.