Why You Should Encourage Your Teen to Travel After High School

High school is like a roller coaster where you never know if you’re going to be “on top of the world, or in the depths of despair.” During this tumultuous time, teens are bombarded with so many stressful situations and exciting moments. It can be a lot, and many teens end up counting the seconds until high school is over.

Graduating from high school is a big deal and a huge milestone that marks the beginning of adulthood. Traveling abroad is an exciting way for your teen to celebrate making it out of high school alive!

There are so many benefits to your teen getting a passport and boarding an airplane after high school.

It Expands Their World

Nothing expands your world faster than leaving everything you know and stepping into a completely different environment. High school is such a small bubble, it’s easy for teenagers to think that whatever happens in high school is a huge deal and the beginning and end of the world.

Leaving their hometown and going to another country will give them a better perspective on life. It will show them that there’s a big world out there full of possibilities and potential.

They Will Learn a Lot About Themselves

It’s ridiculous that 18-year-olds are expected to make huge decisions about what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. How can they make such an important choice if they don’t even know who they are yet and haven’t experienced enough of life to decide what they like?

Your late teens and early 20s should be about figuring out who you are, what you want, and what you enjoy. The best way to do that is by traveling.

When you travel to another country, you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and becoming a completely different person as a result. You’re learning new things that you never realized about yourself. Every time I travel, I learn something new about myself, even as an adult who has been traveling since I was a kid.

They Will Become More Confident & Independent

Leaving your country for the first time can be a bit intimidation but still exciting. If your teen travels after high school, they will face a lot of challenges and will become more confident and feel independent after overcoming those challenges.

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Just the process of thinking of a place you want to travel to and physically getting yourself there is a huge task, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Once your teen achieves that, they will be very proud of themselves.

When they travel, they will learn how to plan, research, solve problems, step out of their comfort zone, communicate with people, and keep themselves safe. These are all valuable skills that will help them in adulthood.

They Can Find a New Passion

Not everyone graduates high school knowing what their passions are. Many adults don’t even have that figured out!

If your teen can travel after high school, they will experience so many new things. They will eat new food, meet new people, see new places, and learn a lot about other cultures.

While they’re having their adventure, they might come across a new passion that they would have never found if they had stayed home. Maybe they’ll realize they want to become a travel influencer or a yoga instructor. There are so many things that your teen has not experienced yet, traveling will give them a variety of new experiences to help them discover more about what they enjoy.

It’s an Awesome Way to Make New Friends

When my friends and I go out, we always crack jokes that we look like we’re from the United Nations since we’re all from different parts of the world. I have made so many friends while traveling. It’s quite funny when I think about how I met some of them because it was so random.

Your teenager will meet so many new people as they travel. These new BFFs will come from all walks of life and be people that they will stay in contact with for years to come.

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Even if your teen is more reserved at home, they will be more motivated to come out of their shell as they explore new places and meet new people. They could end up being the life of the party.

They Can Make Important Connections

Traveling allows teens to have many different networking opportunities. Even if they’re just partying the entire time, they could end up partying with people who are working in an industry that your teen is interested in.

This is especially great for teens who don’t know what they want to do yet. When they connect to people from different backgrounds and industries, they could find a field that they’re interested in and want to pursue.

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If your teen does know what kind of career they want, they could meet people in that job field who can give them opportunities and mentor them.

There are also so many volunteer opportunities, internships, and apprenticeships abroad which will give your teen more hands-on experience that could help them on their career path.

They Will Gain More Empathy for Others & Appreciate Other Cultures

If you live in a city or town that doesn’t have much diversity, traveling will help your teen learn about new cultures and have more empathy for people who are different from them.

When you travel to most countries, the locals are very friendly and happy to share their culture with tourists. If you go to an area like Isaan province in Thailand, the locals will feed you for free, offer to show you around, and even make you drink a lot of booze to welcome you to their town.

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Teens will meet a lot of people and animals in need as they travel and might even find a new cause to advocate for. Even if they are already empathetic, they will be even more so once they see how different people live and how they still manage to stay happy with very little.

When you’ve never met someone from another culture, it’s can be hard to relate to them or care if you hear about their country on the news, but once you visit new countries, you will feel a connection to those places and will see the humans faces behind the news stories.

They Will Create Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

When your child comes back from traveling, they will have many stories to tell. There will be funny moments, weird moments, and even life-changing moments that they will remember for the rest of their life.

I still clearly remember my trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia even though it was over ten years ago. Angkor Wat is the most amazing place that I have ever seen in my life. Walking around endless miles of ancient ruins surrounded by jungle was incredible and made me feel like I was Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider!

Traveling is the greatest adventure that will change you every time you do it. Your teen will have a great time while becoming more independent and learning more about who they are and what they want to be.

Does your teen want to travel to another country? Where do they want to go? Let us know in the comments below!

Tracy Lowe

Tracy is a writer and filmmaker from Los Angeles, but Thailand has been her primary home for over a decade. She has more than 13 years of experience teaching young children and is a major proponent of the Reggio Emilia approach to learning.

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