I am firm advocates for travel and exploring the world… if you haven’t noticed. But, as a teenage after I moved back to Canada we didn’t have many international trips. I had a thirst and desire to travel ever since I landed back home soil.
I wanted to go on every trip our highschool had planned, but never went on one because I didn’t have enough money. I went to university and wanted to take a term internationally, but I couldn’t afford to. I was swamped with all kinds of payments for schooling, car, etc and never had that opportunity for about 10 years.
When I was 19 finally I planned a trip to Europe. I had enough and I was going… but I didn’t know how I was going to pay for all of it. I had some savings, but not enough. When it came time to make the last payment to commit to go, my mom lent me the money to go (to this day I’m not even sure if my dad knew this… now he does). My mom didn’t necessarily want me to go, but she knew I needed to go. So my mom lent me the money and upon my return I had it paid back within two months. The gift of her borrowing me the money was one of the most memorable opportunities that my mother provided for me. My parents didn’t have a lot of disposal cash, and I knew it was big deal to borrow it to me.
This obviously left a memorable mark on me, so what would I do about it? And how do I think you can help our youth travel more… here is what I did.
So it was my turn to return the favour and give the gift of travel to a young and inspiring mind. I wanted to make sure others I cared about had the same chance to explore the world as my mom provided to me. So I started planning and saving every year for each of my nieces and nephew. Just a small amount of savings that I put away for each of them.
This past spring upon my eldest niece’s high-school graduation I gave her a check with a message to go and explore the world. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to help her plan a trip so she could explore the world. I have a “Trip” account for each of my nieces and nephew, so on their big graduation day they will have the same opportunities too. I put away automatic payments ever month into their accounts, and add in an extra few dollars on their birthdays and Christmas into this accounts.
My eldest niece plans on taking a trip to Iceland next year, so I am looking forward to hearing about her adventures.
My challenge is to any of you whoever felt like you just needed a little help when you were first starting out as a young adult and wanted to go and explore the world…. give the gift of travel and pay it forward to someone you love. It will have lifelong impacts on them.
* The images are obviously not of the highest quality, but these were pre-digital and still capture memories.