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.
Each 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, CityPass, Tourism Toronto, National Geographic Maps, Niagara Cruises, Niagara Parks, Porter Airlines and Heys America who has provided the eye-catching suitcases that each teen has been gifted with.
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?