By Brooke Noelle, co-founder of Pedis-n-Passports, a mother/daughter travel blog
| Just yesterday, a friend of mine said, “Brooke, you’re so lucky you get to travel so much.” While I am very grateful I have family that shares my passion, I really want to encourage teens to see the world, even if their family members don’t travel as much as mine. Here’s how:
Open Up Conversation
Try to start conversations with your parents about your desires. If they see how serious you are about traveling the world, they will be more inclined to support you. Whether it’s through the avenue of volunteering on mission trips, visiting a relative that lives somewhere you’d like to visit, seeing a place you learned about in social studies, tell them! Don’t keep your dreams silent. The more you talk about travel consistently, the more they will see it’s not just a phase, but a lifestyle you want for yourself. If your parents really are not responsive, talk to a neighbor who loves to travel, or perhaps teachers, friends and their families. It is wonderful to have other travelers to learn from and feel supported by.
Get a Job
Yeah, I know–between school, homework, extracurricular activities and a social life, who has time? I will tell you this though: your parents will see you are serious about travel. Make an envelope marked Travel Funds. No matter how much you can save, anything is better than nothing. Babysit, shovel snow, walk dogs, anything you can to put some money away each month. Even better, ask your parents to put it in a travel savings account for you. If they say all the money should go towards education, tell them there is no better education that traveling. They won’t be able to counter that one.
If your family goes on a yearly vacation, put in your two cents; tell them where you want to go and why. If you’re persuasive enough, they may change their minds and visit the places you long to see. For me, Australia and Africa are at the top of my list. My mom is hoping for Southeast Asia next, so we will see who wins that battle of the continents:
Do Your Research
Before asking to go anywhere, know everything you possibly can about that place–its history, geography, culture, currency, top sites to see when visiting there. Be prepared to show you aren’t making an impulsive decision. Show your knowledge and maturity. If you want an itinerary made, message me!
You’re probably studying a language in school and that’s great, but try to learn even more. I study French but am trying to learn several other languages as well. Even if you learn 20-30 basic words in several other languages, you will be more prepared when you meet people when traveling.
Host an Exchange Student
Ask your parents to host a foreign exchange student. We are having a French student stay with us this June and July. I’m super excited! Not only can you learn about their culture and language, there is a good chance your parents will let you visit them in their home country in the future. Paris is always a good idea!
Sign up for school clubs that travel. Our high school chorus is going to Spain next Spring Break. If you are fortunate to attend a school that takes trips, join those clubs. Even if your parents don’t let you go, you will meet people that most likely enjoy traveling and make wonderful new friendships. And, of course, in college study abroad!
Read a Lot of Travel Blogs
I definitely have my favorite travel bloggers that I follow religiously. I learn so much from them and they greatly help me find new places to travel that I’ve never heard of before (Bhutan, Myanmar, etc). My mom and I will be writing a post soon about our absolute favorite travel bloggers.
Learn a Skill that Allows You to Travel
Perhaps you want to be a teacher. If so, you can teach anywhere in the world. So many people teach English in countries all over the world and this allows them to have an income and see the world easily. And I can’t say enough about computers. If you can land an online job, you can work from anywhere. Even the arts, singing, dancing can open doors and give you endless opportunities. I’ve met employees at hotels and on cruises that use their talents to create a job that allows them to travel. There really are so many possibilities. So find a career that will support your wanderlust.
Don’t Ever Give Up
Keep a journal, keep reading, keep learning. Make a dream list. By an awesome scratch map. Don’t worry about being popular or pleasing other people. Please yourself and focus on your own dreams. Dreams are something no one can take from you. Even if your parents are very strict and have decided your path, realize you’re not a teen forever. No one can force you to do something you do not want to do. Work hard so that you have every opportunity you deserve. Plan now so your future traveling self can thank you.
About the Brooke Noelle
I am a thirteen-year-old girl from Naperville, Illinois. I have traveled to 10 countries so far, 19 states in the U.S.A. and many Caribbean Islands. My goal is to reach 30 countries by the time I reach the ripe old age of 30! Besides travel, I love animals (I volunteer at the Humane Society and Shed Aquarium in Chicago), ice cream, dancing, ice cream, swimming, ice cream, acting, ice cream, my two puppies, ice cream, my fish, and did I say ice cream? Come and join me and my mom on our adventures. I will be sure to give a teen perspective on destinations, food, fashion and fun! Follow our Pedis-Passports mother/teen daughter travel blog, and find us on Instagram @wholeinthebucket and @pedis.n.passports, Twitter @sumjrny and Facebook too!