NikaTeacher interviews: Getting to know you, Nika

Sometimes in our team, we are all like ships passing in the night. We are busy bees and often don’t get chance to chat or catch up on gossip.  We decided to do a sequence of NikaTeacher interviews. So I pinned Nika down and asked her some questions about herself, I’m sure most of you are interested to know a little bit more about the Big Cheese.  Read on for some fascinating facts about our very own Nika.

NikaTeacher interviews: What’s your earliest memory? 

I think my earliest memory is skiing, or let’s say it more accurately, learning how to ski.

When I was young, my parents always took me to the Alps for a week or two where they would then teach me how to ski. My brother, who is 9 years older than me, was a professional skier and had coaches who taught him all the necessary techniques to be the best. I have always admired him and his abilities: he is so freaking good at any sports that I am never afraid of trying new things if he’s around.

On the other hand, I never had a proper teacher so I never achieved his level, but I’ve learnt it and had so much fun every winter going somewhere new with my family.

That’s actually how language works – you can learn on your own, but it’s much easier if you learn with a professional teacher who will guide you.

NikaTeacher interviews: What’s your greatest fear? 

This is a funny one! Did you know that I dream A LOT? Every morning I would be shaking my head and thinking: how on earth is it possible that I mixed up all the stories from the last two days and created a new one in my dreams. It’s hilarious, but sometimes also nerve-racking! So, I’ve often dreamt about a tsunami in Gran Canaria, and that’s basically my biggest fear: see a huge wave in front of me from which I can’t escape.

There was an earthquake in the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon, Portugal in 1755. It was followed by a huge tsunami which almost totally destroyed the capital city of Portugal. Just saying.

NikaTeacher interviews: If you could go back in time, where would you go?

My parents will laugh on this one. Basically, I miss all these random things from my life in Slovenia. Random daily things that you usually don’t miss if you live in your own country. Since I have lived in a foreign country for around 7 years, I miss waking up on a Sunday morning and smelling whatever my parents are cooking in the kitchen because you have to eat at 12 o’clock on Sunday in Slovenia. We have never eaten out unless people didn’t fit in our house 😁My parents’ cuisine is extraordinary, so no one would rather eat out in a restaurant than at our house. I have already suggested they should write a book with all their recipes. So, sleep well and eat well, these are the two things I miss the most.

NikaTeacher interviews: How long have you lived in Gran Canaria?

It has been quite a long journey I think. When I moved to Gran Canaria in 2013 I had to start from scratch, without knowing what life was going to bring me. Sounds exciting, but to be honest, at the beginning it was very stressful, disappointing and sometimes even heart-breaking.

The journey has been tough, especially because you can’t just make new friends from one day to the other and people, as social beings, need to be surrounded by other people. I think that was the hardest part. Nowadays, I have amazing friends and I love sharing my points of view with my friend Aljosa from Slovenia, Adela from the Czech Republic, Yana from Russia, Justin from Zimbabwe and all the Spanish friends I made in the last few years.

And then, another chapter: building a business. I can speak about building and running a business another day. I can just tell you that we have finally received all the plans from our architect, so we’ll soon start working on our new project: one more space for learning in the same building, but on the first floor!

NikaTeacher interviews: Did you prefer learning English or Spanish? 

Oh, that’s super clear! S P A N I S H. 🇪🇸Do you want the truth? The best teacher I had for English was in primary school. This means that during 8 years, twice a week I enjoyed learning English.❤️After that, when I went to college, I started hating English because our teacher was basically an i***. I wasted 4 years of my life 2 or 3 times a week learning English without actually learning anything, it was a complete waste of time but luckily I knew quite a lot from before. Some years ago I even checked my English books and I don’t remember a page – bearing in mind that I’m a typical visual learning type, that’s a national catastrophe.

I’ve been learning Spanish for 4 years when I was chosen for a grant and I went to the University of Alcalá de Henares. I was absolutely inspired by my university professor Manuel. I spoke about him before and he is definitely the reason why I became a passionate language teacher myself.

When you learn from the best, you want to become the best for others. I appreciate all kinds of learning memories and experiences I have had in my life, so that I can now create the perfect place for others to learn. It has always worked like this, hasn’t it? Your experience is valuable if you know how and where to apply it.

NikaTeacher interviews: How do you relax?

How do I relax? I thought I relaxed reading, but then I realized I relax even more when I’m writing.

Have you ever written a diary about yourself, your feelings, your fears or your objectives? Omg, when I went home 2 years ago I found my old diaries – I have to say I was really consistent writing them. That’s probably why I enjoy writing blogs so much. I love this moment to myself and for you, our reader. I also relax having a cup of coffee in Starbucks or cooking and watching some Marie Forleo’s videos about how to run a business. That’s exactly what I’m going to do when I finish writing.

NikaTeacher interviews: Which living person do you admire?

Oprah, Beyoncé and Michelle Obama. They all went through a very difficult process of personal and professional growth and they never gave up. They persevered and eventually they became who they always wanted to be.

They should be a role model for all young women and men.

What’s your favourite English word?

Shiny.

And Spanish?

Libélula.

What’s your happiest memory?

Wow. That has to be Bali with my boyfriend.

Who would play you in a movie about your life? 

Myself? 😎

NikaTeacher interviews: What top tips do you have for learning a language?

Make a decision. Feel the language. Learn.

  • Learn with a teacher
  • Be consistent
  • Find foreign friends

Have you got more questions for Nika?  Comment below and as you now know, she loves writing so…

Louise

Photo: Photographer in Las Palmas

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