When I decided to travel with Travel For Teens (TFT) on my first trip abroad, I was so nervous and a little worried about being on my own, making friends, and especially the food aspect because I’m peschetarian and I was worried about there not being options. But I felt so at home once I got there, I immediately felt like I belonged, like being in this other country, on a different continent, even, was totally normal. And the counselors did everything they could to help us have a better understanding of the places we went. It was like a walking history lesson, but the best one ever because we were actually there and experiencing everything in person.
With TFT I’ve now traveled to Greece, Italy, Germany, France, England, Wales, and Scotland. It still kind of blows my mind when I think about it, because it’s so crazy to even comprehend once you get back that you were actually there, you actually did that, this is an actual experience that happened to you, of all people.
One of the things I think TFT really does great with is encouraging campers to be independent and responsible, as well as confident. There are times when you are with only one or two other kids from your trip, and your counselor isn’t with you; they’re nearby if you need help, but you’re mostly taking care of yourself. It really promotes that sense of individuality and the feeling that you’re on your own, and it’s a great way to let campers experience the culture of another country.
What really drew me back to TFT, along with the experience of a new place, and the excitement of just traveling again, would have to be the people. The counselors are all so nice, and knowledgeable, and you can tell that they really love what they do, and they’re so happy to be there helping the campers to see what’s so great about traveling. And the campers are great too, because whether it’s a small group, or a group with lots of people, you can find someone who you become friends with, who you talk to every single day of the trip and once you get back. It’s the best thing ever to really, fully connect with people and form a close bond because of what you’re experiencing. You wake up and eat the same foods, see the same sights, share the same jokes even. So you might not know their favorite color, but you saved them from falling down a mountain or saw their reaction to a place. It’s truly 5 years of friendship in a matter of 12 days.
Traveling with TFT is an experience that has taught me how to be independent, confident, and flexible when interacting with other cultures, experiences, or people your age. Every TFT trip I’ve been on has left me with a sense of satisfaction from what I experienced, but also that longing to see more, do more, take more risks, and get out into the world and just live. Through TFT I’ve discovered myself, made friends, and experienced life in way I never dreamed possible.