I already have to deal with this. I'm disabled, unable to work a regular job, I can't get health care coverage in my state (Texas) to help me improve my health so I can work more, and so my income is extremely limited.
One reason I started studying languages on my own was to cope with this situation. People do not often realize how socially isolated disabled people can become, especially when they older and have to live in poverty, and likewise, they don't realize how much boredom we struggle with on top of health and money problems. So I was looking for something to keep me sane, basically. My two primary languages are heritage languages, so that does factor into why I concentrate on them. But other factors include having an interest in that culture and wishing I could travel that country, Other times, I just want a challenge, like with my occasional forays into Russian.
An issue that I have to deal with, being an isolated learner, is it's easy to feel restless when just studying one or two languages. Languages by their nature are means to connect with other people and sometimes having to always create your own ways to use your languages to connect with others, always having to make that extra effort, can get to you. And consequently when things don't go well with your attempts to connect--people agreeing to meet on Skype but don't show, or people online being unhelpful, for example--it can be more exhausting because you don't have a larger community to connect with to keep you buoyed when you are dealt a disappointment like that. So I have to come up with coping strategies for that, too. One is to study other languages for bit, and then cycle back to my main languages.
Djedida wrote:My own choices wouldn't change, but I also live in a touristy city where I can meet all sorts of language speakers. And yet, I am actually a bit introverted and learn languages mostly for my personal amusement rather than with any real desire to talk to others.
I used to live in Houston, TX, and while not "touristy" like, say, Galveston (where I went to high school), Houston is very international with many immigrant communities that still use their languages. I was going to uni when I lived there, and studying Latin, Classical Greek and Biblical Hebrew at the time, so sadly I didn't get to exploit that as much as I wish I could have (although I was starting to learn Vietnamese, thinking I was going to live there for a while longer, and I developed a better ear for understanding various South American dialects of Spanish).
But I did spend a lot of time with French expats there in Houston and that helped a lot in encouraging me to continue my French. It also helped that every once in a while a random French person who I had never seen before would just walk up to me in bookstore or grocery store and start asking me for directions or something in French. (While I'm technically only 1/4 French, from my father's New England French/Canadian French side, apparently to some French people, I look French enough that surely I must speak French
). But even if I didn't get to indulge in that wonderful diversity as much I wish I had (I'm very introverted myself, so that wasn't on my side either), it was still a wonderful experience.
Now I live in a Texas city where roughly 60-65% of the population can speak Spanish on some competent level, so my Spanish slowly improves from sheer exposure and necessity, but there's not much here for any others of my languages of interest. So much of my attempts to connect with others has to be online. Or when that gets to be too much to deal with, I just settle for my study materials and various media, like books and music.