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Taylor Michie

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Why Everyone Should Travel Globally as a Teenager

Posted: 02/29/2012 9:36 am

As I detailed in my last post, Morocco was one of the coolest places I've ever visited. Before Morocco, my farthest journey from home previously was to San Francisco, a great city that I absolutely love, but not one that compares to the sights and sounds of Morocco.

This past summer, I was afforded some incredible opportunities. Morocco for a wedding, Belgium for a vacation after that, and then to Spain for a mix of work and fun. I flew across the Atlantic four times in four weeks, and I think I have the approach pattern to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport pretty much memorized. It was a pretty cool time in my life, and I would encourage teens to take advantage of opportunities like I had. Not everyone will be fortunate enough to take trips like I did, and I realize that. But if you've got the time, the desire, and the means, it's a great way to spend your time. Spending nearly a month out of the United States changed the way I thought about a lot of things.

Cue the Moroccan music, livestock walking in the street, and people shouting Arabic in your face. It feels pretty exotic, and breezes and palm trees were in ample supply. It was nothing like I had ever experienced before. But it was more than just tourism experiences. On our five-hour drive from Fes to Marrakesh, I experienced normal Moroccan life. The highway that we took was a paved, four-lane road. Nothing like I-95 at rush hour, but it was a pretty good attempt at a major thruway. I sent a postcard back home, went to the bank to exchange money, and visited a grocery store (if you can even call it that) to stock our riad's fridge.

Experiencing the sights and sounds of Morocco was a learning experience. I saw an entirely different part of the globe, and it was absolutely exhilarating. Just a week after I got back home from Morocco, I left for Spain to participate in a program called Pueblo Inglés. The goal of PI is to share culture in rural Spain. English-speaking Spaniards and Anglos from English-speaking countries around the world come together to share culture. For a week, we spent time in the Spanish sun and made plenty of new friends. I still keep up with my friends in England, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and the United States. The only thing I paid for on my Spanish adventure was the flight over -- a small sum for such an incredible experience.

So my recommendation is this: If you have the means and the desire to experience another culture, try to do so. It'll change your life, or at least the way that you view the world.

For more information about Pueblo Inglés, visit their website.

Taylor's full series of trip reports from Morocco are available at http://rwinds.tk/z4woGl.