I first heard about Esperanto back in high school, from the Nickelodeon cartoon Danny Phantom. In the episode "Public Enemies," Danny meets Wulf, an Esperanto-speaking wolf ghost. Here's a clip of the entire episode. If you want to skip to the Esperanto parts, they're at 00:50, 08:25, 11:10, 15:05, and 20:15. (Be forewarned: the grammar is atrocious.)
Anyway, I liked the idea, so I began the popular 10-lesson course, and joined Lernu. I didn't know any other speakers, and none of my friends wanted to learn, so I lost interest.
Esperanto found me again in Fall 2007, during my first semester in college. The language came up in conversation with my dorm roommate, and it turned out there was another speaker literally three doors down. Jordon approached me about starting a club, and we began meeting in Fall 2008.
As our Vice-President, I figured I should actually learn the language. So, I bought a copy of Teach Yourself Esperanto, and worked through it in about two months. Then, I created a Skype account, and began chatting with Esperantists from around the world. Little by little, my Esperanto improved, and I decided to attend the 2009 National Congress in St. Louis, Missouri.
On the way there, I was filled with nervous excitement about the idea of communicating in a foreign language. I didn't need to feel nervous, though; everyone was really friendly and helpful, and I had a great time. I spent the next two months backpacking through Europe with Jordon, where we had lots of exciting Esperanto adventures. (Jordon blogged extensively during our trip - definitely "Czech" it out.)
Now, one year later, we're going to the National Congress together. I'm lot more confident with the language, and I hope to experience this year's Congress on a deeper level.
Vidu tiun ĉi blogaĵon en Esperanto.