Traveling the world has gone from a pipe dream to a reality for so many. You don't, after all, have to save up beforehand and live off of money in your bank account when you go. With new tech and the power of the internet and our personal computers, you can work remotely and on the go. Globalization has also put more emphasis on citizens around the world learning the lingua franca, which at this point, and for the foreseeable future, is English, though China's increasing influence on global trade might change this down the line.
There are four main skills that a language learner is trying to master: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For most people, speaking is the main focus. They try to connect with native speakers, so they could practice what they've learned. They read because they want to learn more words, so they could speak. They write because they want to get more confident in grammar and word use, so they could speak better. As for the listening and comprehension part, that's when things get messy.