In March 2012, I left my home in Gloucestershire, UK, to cycle around the world. I have no idea how long this will take ...

What about the language barrier?

The language barrier never stops me from getting what I need in foreign countries. The basics like eating, drinking, sleeping or getting help in an emergency can all be dealt with in a variety of forms of sign language which the experienced traveller quickly comes to learn. More complex requests and abstract concepts are trickier. However, if it’s really important, the chances are it will be understood.

Imaginative ways abound to reduce the language barrier too. I always make an effort to learn the local language but I also create a small pamphlet with useful phrases for myself and pictures of my family, my route and where I’ve been for the locals (see my ‘travelling with a personalised picture book‘ post). Remember, most questions locals ask are the same everywhere so it’s easy to have some stock answers ready.