European Travel Awards 2022

EU BUSINESS NEWS / European Travel Awards 2022 15 , Travel Creator of the Year - UK Founded byMichele Frolla, The Intrepid Guide is a language, culture, and travel site featuring travel guides and videos, self-paced language courses, language learning hacks, and travel phrase guides to help travel enthusiasts have more authentic experiences. Michele Frolla first launched The Intrepid Guide as a creative outlet, a blog for enriching travellers’ experiences through languages using informative travel videos and destinations guides with beautiful photography. She also provides simple yet effective language courses and free travel phrase cheat sheets to help beginners get started in a language. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, it was after Michele learnt Italian (her heritage language) as an adult that she moved to Rome where she lived for three years before moving to London. She says, “I’ve experienced first-hand the power of knowing even a little bit of the local language can have in turning an average trip into an experience of a lifetime. “We all love to travel, but no one talks about the importance of learning and speaking languages when it comes to travelling to foreign countries. This is surprising since it’s such a big part of travel. We go abroad to see beautiful places, and try new cuisines, but no one talks about how wonderful it is to communicate with the locals and learn from them.” Michele believes you don’t need to be fluent to make a difference, because a little can go a long way. Just showing that you’ve made an effort to learn some of the local language brings out the best in people. Michele says, “I believe it's important to show respect when travelling to any foreign country. Even if locals can speak a bit of English, it’s still a good idea to greet them in their native language.” Michele’s interest in languages started when she was very young. After World War II, her dad and his family all immigrated from a tiny village in Puglia in Southern Italy to Melbourne, Australia when he was just four years old. Her dad continued to speak his dialect with his family, but when he tried to teach his daughters, his parents would argue over what was standard Italian and what was dialect. In the end, he never taught Michele Italian, and sadly, she didn’t grow up knowing the language. Aug22055 She remembers visiting her nonno (grandfather) who lived with her zia Maria (auntie Maria) when her nonna (grandmother) passed away when she was only three years old. The only problem was, Michele could never communicate properly with her nonno; he didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak Italian. She found herself feeling frustrated and embarrassed every time, having to ask her dad, “What did he say?”. Michele says, “This really upset me, because I am named after my nonno. Yes, ‘Michele’ is a male name in Italian. It’s like the Italian version of the name ‘Michael’, but in Australia, they just pronounce it like ‘Michelle’.” When Michele was 17, her nonno passed away. That’s the moment when everything changed, and when she became serious about learning Italian. She shares, “It was like a light went on inside me. I wanted to carry on my nonno’s legacy, his name, and learn more about my heritage and my brave nonni (grandparents) who left their home country to provide a better life for their family.” She adds, “I also never wanted to be in a situation again where I couldn’t communicate with someone (especially my relatives) in Italian.” So, she started learning Italian – and now, she’s fluent. For Michele’s followers and students who are just starting out in language learning or have been burned by previous failed attempts, Michele believes they are not incapable of learning another language, citing, “If I can do it, anyone can do it”. “If you’re struggling, you just haven’t found a system that works for you, yet! You need to try different methods and language learning resources to see what resonates with you. Once you have found that, it’s just a matter of being dedicated and passionate.” Michele’s series of online language courses (Italian, French, Norwegian, Spanish) use her unique 80/20 method which is based on the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. In her teaching, Michele focuses on learning the top 20% of key vocabulary that can be used in 80% of situations that travellers find themselves in. For example, how to order food, ask for directions and recommendations, etc. This principle was coined by management consultant, Joseph M. Juran and named after the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who in 1896 showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. The 80/20 rule is observed in language learning too and can be used for higher efficiency. This means that most of your success in language learning is the result of only about 20% of the effort you make. It also means that only about 20% of the things you learn contributes to most (around 80%) of your development and improvement. Michele continues to welcome hundreds of new students to both her various travel language courses and her in-depth Italian grammar courses. She comments, “I am so proud and thrilled that I’ve been able to transform so many of my students’ lives through my online language courses. It brings me a lot of joy to share my passion for travel, languages, and culture.” Company: The Intrepid Guide Contact: Michele Frolla Email: [email protected] Website: Instagram/Twitter: @intrepidguide