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Why traveling alone before age 18 changes life

There are those who, as children, shout about "Mom, I want to be an artist!" My claim - and that of many -, however, was on the other hand: "Mom, I want to go alone on a trip!"I looked for the English school I wanted to go to, the destination - a coastal town in the United Kingdom - and the duration of my stay, three weeks; I learned more during that time than during the rest of the school year. And I don't speak only English.

In 'Count on me', four boys embark on a journey that will determine their existence © D. R.

The feeling it provides to a 16 year old teenager go alone by plane, drive at the airport, take a taxi in an unknown country, get to the house of a family with a different culture -In my case, India-, live with them and meet young people from all countries It is absolute freedom. Is impossible to experience so many intense emotions and experiences staying in your city.

On the way back You feel that your life has changed forever. Not only have you learned to unfold in another language: you have put yourself to the test, you have achieved be self sufficient and you could know yourself much better, while you have re-evaluated everything you knew about the world and your own country. Now, the travel bug It has been installed on you until the end of days.

Traveling so young helps you to know yourself and develop empathy for other cultures © D. R.


From the company of language courses abroad Speak & Fun coincide with my teenage self that traveling before 18 is an extraordinary experience For five basic reasons:

"1. Because you will have a better time than ever. The feeling of is indescribable freedom and illusion that you will experience when you make your first trip abroad. If you go with friends from your institute, the experience can still be most memorable.

2. Because you are getting older. And the best way to grow is face the unknown, taking important steps for your personal life and your Future work life. Get to know another country, speak in English for a few days and interact with a different environment than what you have known are things that will serve you for a lifetime.

3. Because you will practice languages… but, really. You will have to defend yourself with what you know. In the house of the native family in which you stay, you can live a fun experiencea and you will have a great time Seeing yourself speak another language.

4. Because travel cool! London, Bournemouth, Dublin ... there are many cities that you may not know yet. Having the opportunity to meet them with your best friends and colleagues is something you will love. Is one of those trips that you no longer forget in the life.

5. Because you will meet boys and girls your age. In your school, you will have the opportunity to meet other young people from different countries They have also come to study languages. A lovely opportunity to make friends that you may see again very soon. "

Learning to decipher a map is part of the experience © D. R.


For Silvia Álava, director of children's area of ​​the Álava Reyes Psychology Center and teacher of the Master in Child and Youth Psychology of the ISPCS, the advantages of traveling only before reaching the age of majority also they are indisputable: "Traveling alone - although in charge of a monitor or responsible adult - brings security and confidence to young people and it results in them learning to fend for themselves, which is very positive. Allowing it, we promote the autonomy of our children, Well, dad and mom are not here to solve every problem, thus increasing your self-esteem. Also, traveling abroad is especially good because children begin to see another world, other cultures, other ways of doing things, and also learn cultural relativism, understanding that theirs, despite being known, does not have to be the best. "

As to the most appropriate age to start traveling, Silvia does not set limits. However, it emphasizes the need for an organization responsible for the child, who is not yet of legal age to handle alone: ​​"There are no specific ages, It depends on the characteristics of each child, of its degree of maturation and autonomy. Usually, from the age of 12 they can go to learn other languages, to make an exchange, to live in a camp ... However, neither can we give you all the freedom to hit, because they are not prepared; you have to go little by little, and ensure that they can do trips with organizations to work more autonomy, starting, for example, by a camp and following with a little trip through Spain. Of course, when traveling abroad, they have to know the language; otherwise, it can be stressful. "

That your children travel before the age of 18 will train them and open their minds to the world © Giphy

Therefore, the psychologist completely discourages stays abroad designed as punishment for misplaced behavior, bad grades, etc. "A trip abroad, to a family, to a boarding school or to a camp it can never be a punishment, you can't live like that. It is a mistake to force someone to learn languages. However, the situation is different when the boy is a little scared and he needs the father to push him a little, encouraging him with phrases like 'You'll have a great time, you will be super happy ', etc. "

Silvia advises against planning a stay abroad as a punishment © D. R.

But What if the parents are afraid? In that case, it is best to shake it and think about all the advantages that we have already mentioned: "Parents have to leave your children some freedom, well his greatest enemy is overprotection. In addition, we must bear in mind that provided there is an organization responsible for the trip, there doesn't have to be any problem, "concludes the expert.

Fear out! © D. R.

Video: I just got back from Solo Travelling Europe at 18 yrs old - & I've Changed. (April 2020).

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