Speaking (Friendship & Traveling)


Idioms & Expressions:

crew/squad (a very casual term for your social group)

I’m fortunate enough to have found a good crew of friends.


social butterfly (noun, someone who like to socialize with everyone)

She is a social butterfly and talks to everyone.


mingle (verb that means to socialize with new people)

I’m new in town, so I’ll go out and mingle this weekend.


shut-in/recluse/hermit/loner/homebody (all nouns that refer to someone who wants to stay at home and not socialize very often. Also known as “introverts”)

He’s sort of a loner. I always see him by himself.


travel light (verb, this means to travel somewhere and only take a few things with you)

Make sure you travel light – pack everything in your carry-on bag for the plane.


hit the road (verb, this means to begin a journey)

Let’s hit the road and head out of the city for the weekend.


in the middle of nowhere (prepositional phrase with the same thing)

We found a village in the middle of nowhere! We had to hike in the mountains for two days to find it.


off the beaten track (an adjective that describes a place that is remote or hard to reach)


tourist traps (noun that refers to places where vendors charge high prices to sell goods to tourists)

I wouldn’t buy anything near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, since there are many tourist traps around.


watch your back (a phrase that means “be careful”)

Watch your back in this market, because there are many pickpockets around.


if worse comes to worst (this phrase means “if we run out of all other options, we can do this instead)

If worse comes to worst, we can stay at my friend’s house in Hanoi.


booked up (adjective, means a hotel or venue is booked to capacity and there’s no more room)

The hotel is all booked up. We need to find somewhere else to stay.


holiday romance (noun, refers to a short-lived love affair you have with a person you meet on vacation)

Jim found a little holiday romance on his trip to Japan. And he’s still in touch with her.


live like a king (an expression that refers to the lifestyle that people can afford when they take a vacation in a country that’s poorer than theirs)


shoestring budget (noun that refers to traveling while spending very little money – staying in hostel, etc).

Even though we traveled through Cambodia on a shoestring budget, we were still able to live like kings.


Part I: Group Discussion

  1. Do you like going out with your friends?

Of course! I think that going out and socializing is one of the most important things you can do in life. If you stay at home all day, you might turn into a recluse.

  1. How often do you go out with your friends?

I think I go out with my friends maybe three or four times a week. It’s easy for me to do this right now because I’m single, and so I can make my own schedule.

  1. What do you do when you go out?

We usually go to a bar or café and just chat. Or sometimes we’ll go up to someone’s rooftop and hang out and look at the lake. It’s pretty soothing.

  1. Where do you go when you go out?

As I said, either to a local establishment or to someone’s house. We also like to go out to eat together if our schedules match up.

  1. Do you prefer to go out with a large group of friends or just a few friends?

I think a balance is important. I like both smaller, intimate settings where conversation is easy – and I also like big gatherings where it’s easy to bump into new people and mingle.

Part II: Group Discussion (Cont’d)

Describe a holiday you want to go on in the future. You should say: 
          Where this place is
          Who you would like to go with
          What would you do there
and explain why this would be a special trip

I think it would be pretty awesome if my Mom came to visit me in Vietnam. She’s never left North America, so if she came here I think it would be an eye-opening experience for her. I would take her to Sapa, hang out and drink coffee, and maybe teach her to drive a scooter. I think it would be a really special trip because we haven’t seen each other in a long time (since I live pretty far away) and it would be a great chance for us to catch up and reconnect and make some lasting memories.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. What are the importances of traveling?

This answer may be cliché, but it’s true – traveling broadens your perspective by introducing you to other cultures and customs.

  1. Do Vietnamese people prefer to travel by car or by train?

It seems to me that they usually travel by train or plane for long distance, and by motorbike or car for short distances. But overall, motorbikes are clearly the way to go in Vietnam.

  1. What are the advantages of travelling with a group of people?

Traveling with more than one other person makes things more enjoyable because you can share laughs and take a lot of photos together. The downside is, as my grandfather says, that “it takes a while to move armies.” This means that if there are a lot of people in a group, it will take longer to make a decision.

  1. Should young people travel abroad?

Absolutely. The earlier you can gain perspective, the better your life will be and the more empathy you will have when you encounter people who are different from you.

  1. Is international travel popular with people in your country?

I would say so – but not everyone travels. Most people don’t travel, but I think that’s because they don’t have the means to travel. But travel is usually something people do if they have the time and opportunity to do so in America.