Growing global citizens with The Passport Party Project

In June 2016 The Passport Party Project, led by Executive Director Tracey Friley, will be taking a group of girls aged 11 to 15 years old on their first international trip to Toronto, Canada.

Colleen, Passport Party Project 2016Each of the selected Teen Travel Ambassadors entered the award-winning, National Geographic programme to – in some cases – not only obtain their first passports, but to participate in online global awareness training, and join a group of fellow teens to take their first international trip and learn how to #travelwithheart.

As a Travel Mentor for The Passport Party Project, I’ve been supporting Karah from California with the preparation for her trip. She’ll be in Toronto for one week of cultural exploration, community service, immersed in learning and personal growth, all whilst having a great deal of fun!

When I read Karah’s programme application, she showed a clear passion for travel and often reads books about other countries like Paris and India. She’s also snorkelled and tried kayaking at Santa Catalina Island, already showing an adventurous approach to making the most of her travels. For the purposes of this blog post, Karah has kindly produced an introductory video.

Karah and I email on a weekly basis, and in doing do, I couldn’t help reminiscing on my own teenage years and how I felt about travel at that age. I’d already benefitted from trips with my school and family members around the UK, and had one international trip under my belt to Jamaica. It was such an exciting experience, boarding a flight, the excitement of flying and arriving at a completely new destination full of interesting activities, culture and foods that I hadn’t experienced. It was a huge learning curve and I’m passionate about young people experiencing the same.

It’s been a fantastic journey to observe so far and impossible not to share the infectious excitement as the girls prepare for their trip. They’ve had great support from the sponsors Francesco’s Limousine, CityPassTourism TorontoNational Geographic MapsNiagara Cruises, Niagara ParksPorter Airlines and Heys America who has provided the eye-catching suitcases that each teen has been gifted with.Karah, Passport Party Project 2016

You can share and follow the journey as the girls start to become responsible global citizens, by following the hashtag #PassportPartyProject and #powerofthepassport.

Can you remember your first international getaway? What tips would you share with these American Teen Travel Ambassadors preparing for their first trip to Toronto?

12 comments

  • Hey Colleen! So excited for Karah and look at her doing a video. Love it! My first trip abroad solo was to Italy. I’d been abroad before that to Canada and the Caribbean with family members but truly by myself was for an exchange in college. It will be lovely to see how these girls grow. I am so excited for my girls, your girl and all of the girls!! #PowerOfThePassport

    • Thank you! It’s going to be an exciting getaway for them, I’m jealous as I haven’t been to Canada yet! I’ll be heading to Italy for the first time next week. Any tips for Rome?

  • Nicole

    I am so excited for Karah! And I’m excited for Destiny! She is also an ambassador on this trip and my friend’s daughter. I saw a post early on when they were taking applicants, and tagged my 2 friends with daughters. One didn’t apply because of scheduling, but the other did. I got a text message as soon as she was accepted!

  • I am genuinely thrilled to have you as a Travel Mentor for Phase 3 of The Passport Party Project, Colleen! Thank you for your commitment and your support! #girlstravel #PassportPartyProject #powerofthepassport

  • What a great project! I didn’t start travelling until I was 22 but remember sitting through my high school classes day dreaming about all the places I would go. Karah must be so excited- and Toronto is a pretty fun city to visit 🙂

    • Thanks for reading Hannah. The group are so excited to be visiting Toronto. We’ll be chatting about the trip in more detail on today’s #girlstravel chat on Twitter, with project director Tracey Friley. Hope that you’re able to join us there to share any tips ahead of the trip.

  • How nice to see young people embracing travel! My first trip abroad (I am from the UK) was with my school to Cyprus, Greece and Israel. A real cultural exploration…something completely different from my culture.

  • Way to go Karah!!! I am SO excited that these jaunty young adventurers are coming to Toronto – just a few hours from me! It’s such a beautiful, diverse, multicultural city with so much to offer – I think they will really love it.

    • Thanks Vanessa! Yes, it’ll be their first trip to Canada. I can’t wait to see how the group get on and to hear all about Karah’s first international trip. Look forward to seeing any advice that is shared on today’s #girlstravel chat. 🙂

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