Why These Parents Invested in Summer Travel and the Impact it had on Their Teenagers
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Why These Parents Invested in Summer Travel and the Impact it had on Their Teenagers

As a parent, you want your child to succeed, not just in school but in his or her interpersonal relationships, post-graduation plans, and future career. Most of all, you want your kid to be happy; to know who they are and where they fit in the world.

But we all know that when you’re a teenager figuring out who you are can be pretty tricky (flashback to the acne, AP Chem homework that didn’t make any sense, college applications, and that thing called prom).

These parents wanted their kids to be happy, too. That’s why they invested in a summer travel experience. And while it sounds cliché, when their teenagers left home behind for a new place (with lots of new people and new experiences), they returned two weeks later more confident, independent, and excited about their studies (plus a better idea about how to turn that passion into a career!).

A broadened perspective

“My daughter’s trip to Costa Rica was everything we hoped it would be. She was able to fully experience this beautiful place with caring, supportive, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable people leading and guiding her.

“She seemed more ‘grown up’ when she returned home. She was more articulate about different issues that her generation faces in the world. She was clearly moved by the local people she was able to interact with and more positive about life and her future.”

— Jill Larson, Emma’s mom | Madison, WI (Costa Rica 2016)

Increased confidence, independence, and personal growth

“Though the program was for just a few weeks, the cumulative adventures and ‘firsts’—first plane ride alone, first trip with kids and staff he had never met, first extended stay in a foreign country—resulted in a big leap in independence and growth.

“When Joey returned, I was sure what he would talk about most would be the zip line or scuba diving for the first time (another adventure not easy on a mom), but instead, he talked about the Fijian people he had met whom he felt he had truly connected with. That hit home with me. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer, more than anything else, those three years taught me to love another country other than my own. And Joey had that same experience.

“This is truly an experience of a lifetime.”

— Amy Goehner, Joey’s mom | New York, NY (Fiji 2014)

Direction for college applications and inspiration for future career aspirations

“Rachel wrote about her Rustic trips for all her college applications. As she waits for answers and pushes herself harder for a positive outcome to those applications, I see the stress building and the only thing that brings her joy is when she talks about the Rustic Squad and her experiences these past two summers.

“Rachel is one of the most intense, yet intelligent young girls I have ever known (and even though I am her mom, I  swear I say this without bias!). Her experiences have changed her; they’ve enriched her and manifested a seed of something inside her. I truly believe that she can take on the world and change it. She doesn’t know quite how to do that yet, but she will figure that out. It is all quite wonderful to watch and evolve.”

— Amy DuRose, Rachel’s mom | Kissimmee, FL (Peru 2016 & Laos 2015)

An experience that will continue to define college studies and future career choices.

“I know this trip has immeasurably broadened her worldview and thought process, and it will be most interesting to see how it affects her choices of courses and majors at college, and her approach to life in general.”

— Julia Forster and John Thompson, Julia’s parents | Charleston, SC (Southeast Asia Gap Semester 2016)


Ready to start exploring summer travel opportunities for your teen? Click here to find the perfect service, adventure, or skills-based program for your child or speak to another Rustic parent about their experience.

About the Author

Brielle Friedman