During my first visit to Mexico in 2007 I decided that I wanted to learn Spanish. I began studying and have made quite a bit of progress. My other blog posts about learning Spanish are here. But I am still not where I would like to be. My goal is to be able to understand most conversational Spanish and to be able to talk quickly and to be well understood.
My favorite motivational blog and web site is Beny Lewis' Fluent in Three Months. He makes the case that the most important thing you can do in learning a language is to just start speaking it.
He also pointed me to italki a web site that offers native speaking language teachers and language lessons at very reasonable prices. You can find a teacher who is a native speaker from almost any country. I had an introductory lesson Tuesday for $1 with Carla from Bolivia. I am going to have my first real lesson tomorrow. So far it seems to be working very well. I am excited!
In the interest of full disclosure if you use an italki link form this blog I should get some free credits for lessons.
On italki you can also find people who have signed to be language partners. I haven't tried that yet but I think I might.