Outdoor Trips for Teens: 7 Benefits of Embracing The Outdoors in Beautiful Destinations

Josh Goldbach02 Jan, 2023
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Independent teenage travel can be frightening and intimidating for both parents and teens. It’s easy to allow our worries to overshadow the wonderful ways outdoor trips can benefit your teens and help young people develop into strong, capable adults. 

Adapting to different situations and places is a valuable life skill you can gain from travel, as are social skills like making new friends in a novel environment and appreciating other cultures. Diverse experiences make individuals more resilient to change and better able to support their communities as growing young adults. 

If you’ve found this article, you may already know the many advantages of sending your adolescent on a summer trip for teens. Parents are often on the lookout for programs that help their children build self-esteem, teach them to think for themselves, encourage them to take on leadership roles, and introduce them to diverse groups where they may make friends for life.

Let’s dive in to the benefits that can be found on Bold Earth programs.

teens hiking in the alps mountains

Trips with Bold Earth Adventures

Teens tend to structure their life around the home, school, after-school activities, homework, sleep, time with friends, and a movie thrown in for good measure. These routines provide comfort, stability and wellbeing throughout most of the year. Summer brings around the question of what to do with the free time available now that classes are out?

Summer is an ideal time to use this precious free time to travel somewhere new, outside of routines and maybe even comfort zones. 

Seeing the world through travel is an opportunity to broaden horizons. Experiencing a foreign country gives students a different perspective on the world outside of their daily lives. Even a tiny taste of the art, food, history, music, and culture can change a young person forever.

Let’s explore 7 of the benefits we’ve found on Bold Earth trips.

teens hiking in the alps mountains

Improved Health

Extensive research shows that taking trips might be better for your cardiovascular system. According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by the Framingham Heart Studies Organization, adults who travel at least twice yearly have a much-decreased chance of getting coronary heart disease or having a heart attack.

Another one of the many ways travel may improve your health is by providing a mental and physical “reset” that allows you to return to your normal activities with renewed energy. Our trips are centered around physical activity, from snorkeling and SCUBA to hiking and backpacking. Physical fitness directly correlates with mental acuity, and the new experiences and perspectives you get from traveling may help you be more efficient and productive in the classroom.

Travel exposes you to diverse environments, which develop more robust antibodies (the proteins that defend your body against diseases) from exposure to different germs. Being away from work and other typical stresses allows your body and mind to relax. Your mental clarity increases, and neuronal and axonal damage decreases. 

Studies have shown that just planning a trip may improve your attitude. Having a planned vacation improves one’s outlook on life in general, as well as one’s physical and financial well-being. Planning a trip reinforces relationships and feelings of connection with people – it’s likely to help you recognize your similar interests with your family. Maybe you’ll even find that your sibling’s company is enjoyable when you get back! 

The Roman philosopher Seneca once observed, “Travel and change of location offer fresh strength to the intellect.”

Provide a Technology Detox

Being constantly connected has become second nature. Most individuals are roused from sleep by their smartphone alarms. While watching the news and getting ready, you check your phone. You spend your day on social media surfing, emailing, and chatting with friends. You relax at night by watching TV, shopping, and social networking online. You use white noise or meditation apps on your phone before bed.

For many people, that describes an ordinary day. On average, Americans ages 8-18 use their digital gadgets for around seven and a half hours every day, four and a half of which are spent watching television. It’s no surprise that many of us are feeling anxious due to our excessive screen time.

Researchers have found a correlation between adolescents’ rising exposure to digital media and increased physical, psychological, and behavioral disorders. Teenagers and young adults are reporting higher levels of anxiety and worry than ever before, and they aren’t learning to manage their stress effectively. Adolescent depression has been linked to excessive use of social media and smartphones. The question is, what can we do to assist them in dealing with and reducing their anxiety?

For a couple of weeks, teenagers at Bold Earth can completely disconnect from technology, providing them with a much-needed break from the constant pressures of school and life.

teens hiking in the alps mountains

Leadership

In addition to a delightful summer, one of our priorities for Bold earth adventurers is to develop themselves in different ways than they do at school or at home. Many of our participants report that their experiences over the summer have boosted their self-esteem, encouraged them to take risks, and helped them become more effective communicators and team players.

There will always be something that goes differently than planned while traveling. Unexpected events, although frustrating at first, are also excellent opportunities to practice and improve your problem-solving abilities. Facing adversity is an important chance to develop as leader and discover what kind of leadership you want to embody.

Build Genuine Friendships

When teens make friends outside of school, they often form these bonds due to shared passions and interests instead of proximity. Students at Bold Earth get out of their comfort zones and try new things throughout the summer. They’re willing to put themselves in unfamiliar situations and take a chance on  meeting a whole new community. 

Countless stories have reached us of Bold Earth alums getting together long after taking part in a summer trip for teens. Some choose to come back on return trips together, celebrating their friendship through continuing adventures. Bold Earthers have each other’s backs for life.

Reduce Stereotypes

Adolescents may pick up harmful prejudices without meaning to, but a trip abroad might enable them to unlearn some of those ideas. Young people who go out and explore the world can better appreciate the universality of many of our shared experiences. Seeing how people from various cultures (or even other parts of the same nation) deal with difficulties teaches us that there is more than one way to live.

Now more than ever, our youth are in need of a global perspective to comprehend the issues we must address as an international community. On every trip we work to recognize people for who they are: human beings with infinite potential. Community is what we aim to create at every level, from our individual groups of teens and instructors to a global network that we continue to build with every season.

ecuador galapagos teens hiking

Create Unforgettable Memories

Positive feelings, such as the thrill of experiencing something new or the anticipation of visiting a destination for the first time, are commonly associated with travel memories. There may be moments when you are confronted with challenges you weren’t expecting, but after you’ve worked through them, you’ll have gained invaluable life experience. You might encounter all 3 types of fun on your trip, including the type that only feels like fun after you’ve gotten through it. In the end, those moments might be your favorite to look back on.

When we travel, we have an opportunity to let our guard down and reveal our actual selves. This is often the biggest adventure of all.

Understand Yourself Better

You can focus on yourself and your mental and emotional health when you take a trip. You’re more likely to be self-aware and mindful when you remove yourself from the pressures of everyday life, focus on the here and now, and enjoy the experience for what it is.

You may learn a lot about yourself by experiencing how you react when you’re distant from your own culture and in a new one. You learn to recognize and appreciate the nuances in other people’s social cues and their mental and emotional responses to various scenarios. From there, it’s only natural to start making comparisons. You begin to question and investigate the reasons for the differences between your own culture and outlook and those of the folks you’re meeting. Ultimately, travel will aid in self-discovery by providing an opportunity to reflect on your emotions and perspectives.

Conclusion

Travel gives a learning experience like no other. Through getting to know new places, new people, and new experiences, we continue to build the confidence in ourselves to lead the life we dream of. The world is yours to explore.

Check out our complete list of summer adventures here. We can’t wait to get to know you!

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