Am I the only one thinking different languages are easier than closer ones? I'm French. I hardly can remember anything from my Spanish, but despite of this I can understand Spanish, Italian and sometimes Portuguese. I'm so lazy learning these languages, even if I find Italian a beautiful one. I find the learning boring, there is no surprise and whether I remember pretty well the word as it looks like French, but there are a lot of false friends and about the gender of nouns it's awful as they are not always the same as in French.
On the other hand, exotic languages are much more interesting to learn I think. The learning is always surprising, fun, and sharp my mind (I rethink my habits, my way of cohabit with the reality and the word). Furthermore, I remember pretty well the words. Moreover, it's because I find the language I learn *lovelyer than Spanish for instance.