Written By: Julie Fisher
If you’re excited for you next international destination, but you aren’t quite so excited about having to deal with a language barrier, you still have some great options for English-speaking destinations all over the globe. Sure, there are the usual suspects (England, Australia, etc.), but you’re looking for a little more exoticism, aren’t you? In most countries that cater to tourists, the popular spots will be full of English-speaking employees and locals alike. Though if you do want to explore a little farther from the typical spots, here are four countries you can visit without having to break out the phrase book.
English is one of the official languages of Belize, and the majority of residents speak English or an English-based Creole. This Central American country, just south of Mexico, is known for its extensive diversity of plant and animal life. It is home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world, with Hol Chan Marina and Shark Ray Alley topping the list. Canoeing and trekking through subtropical rainforests and the ATM caves also provide great options to immerse yourself into nature.
2. South Africa
South Africa has eleven official languages, but English seems to be the one that transcends tribal, racial, and social barriers to unite the country. The opportunities seem almost limitless in this country that embraces tradition at the same time. Go cage diving with great whites and hike the amazing Table Mountain in Cape Town. If you’re a surfer, some of the best waves in the world are along the coast at Jeffrey’s Bay. Eat your fill of Indian food in Durban. And of course, since you’re in Africa after all, you can’t miss the famous Big 5 animals at one of the many national and private game parks, the most popular being Kruger Park in the east.
Though the official language is Icelandic, when most people go to Iceland, they never encounter someone who can’t speak English. There are so many unique activities to do in this Nordic nation. Since it has lots of geologic activity, consider a hike through the volcanic landscape and a soak in naturally hot geothermal rivers. Kayak among glaciers with a local guide. You’ll be sure to lose yourself among the spectacular vistas, waterfalls, caves, and lagoons that provide the backdrop to this natural wonder.
Whereas most people in the farther-flung areas of China or Japan might not speak English, one Asian country where English is widely spoken as a first or second language is Singapore, largely due to it being a multicultural hub of international business. It’s got a great arts scene, picturesque neighborhoods, iconic architecture, and great shopping and nightlife. Renting a bike is a perfect way to get around and explore the modern city center. If you want to get out of the urban areas, you can walk among treetops at the Southern Ridges, get on the hiking trails at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, or go on a unique night safari.
Article by: Julie Fisher