THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS FROM WHICH WE MIGHT MAKE A COMMISSION.
Travel in your teens is like no other time in your life. You’ll never be that young again. You’ll never be that attractive again. You’ll never have that same stamina again. You’ll never have so much time again. And you’ll never have your parents supporting you again.
When I graduated from high school I couldn’t wait to get away. While all my friends were going off to college I decided to take a gap year instead and travel around the world before college. It was the best decision of my life. I may be graduating a year behind my high school friends, but I have a lifetime more experience and culture than any of them. And while I intend to hit the road again as soon as I can after college I know nothing will ever top the experience of traveling as a teenager.
What Travel is Like in Your Teens
YOU HAVE A TASTE OF FREEDOM
Congratulations: you’ve finished high school (or dropped out), cashed in your savings accounts (you can always get loans if you go back for college), and left behind your home town. This is the ultimate FREEDOM. For the first time in your life you’re away from home and your high school teachers aren’t being replaced by college professors and your parents aren’t being replaced by RAs. You can go wherever you want, do whatever you want, and see whatever you want. With no one to answer to. Traveling in your teens gives you freedom that going off to college, getting a job, or becoming sixteen and pregnant just won’t give you.
YOU’RE FINALLY AWAY FROM DRAMA
High school was full of one thing: drama. And I’m not talking about that off-key production of Grease in your school’s auditorium. I’m talking about those girls crying in the bathroom because they’re boyfriend dumped them, all the fights, and those girls who cheat on you with the entire football team. When you’re on the road, you don’t have to deal with any of that shit. Will it happen on the road? Sure. There will always be that girl who sleeps with the entire hostel staff or that guy puking all over your room. But you’re not stuck with it like you were in high school, you can just skip town and find another hostel if it does happen.
YOU CAN LEGALLY DRINK
Sure, we got drunk all the time at home anyways. But that was with fake IDs and bribes. In most countries the legal drinking age is way younger than 21 and it never even matters anyways because no one checks ID outside of America. So backpacking as a teenager is made even more epic because you can spend the entire time drinking and no one can tell you not to. If you’re backing as a teenager you will spend the entire time drunk. And it will be epic.
YOU HAVE ALL THE SEX
If the girls in your high school were prudes don’t worry — you’ll get laid when you travel. Backpacking around the world is the ultimate orgy. Traveling girls are so loose they’ll sleep with anyone. Even you. You’ll be having sex all the time.
YOU’LL MAKE LIFE-LONG FRIENDS
You might think your high school friends are the best friends you’ve ever had. Until you travel. Then you’ll realize what losers your friends back home really are. They won’t have the same outlook or priorities as you. And they definitely won’t have a flat for you to crash at when you eventually make it to Australia.
YOU HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITIES
Back home you had homework, tests, chores, and a part time job. On the road, you have none of that. There is literally nothing you have to do. When you travel the world as a teenager you have absolutely no responsibilities.
YOU CAN PARTY ALL NIGHT
Because you’re young, you have the stamina, you have no responsibilities, and you have your parents’ bank account, you can stay out all night, every night. There will always be those lame-ass travelers in their twenties or thirties who go to bed before midnight and expect you to be quiet. And when you see them you’ll be happy you’re traveling now. Because when you’re in your teens in doesn’t matter. You can party, hard, all night, every night. If you want to sleep you can do it all day.
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT
With no responsibilities and no one to answer to you can do whatever you want. Do you want to spend all day on Khao San Road? Do you want to spend your entire trip learning to scuba dive on Koh Tao or working at a bar on Koh Phi Phi? Do you want to go to a ping pong show or take home a Thai ladyboy? Do it. There’s no one to tell you not to.
YOU HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
When you’re back home, when you’re back in college, when you’re back living in your parents’ house, you can look back on your gap year and know that you had the time of your life. You partied hard, had amazing days on the beach, had tons of sex, and saw the world. No one can ever take that away from you. You lived.
Did you take a gap year and travel around the world as a teenager? What’s YOUR favorite part about traveling the world as a teen?