People & Stories

"Here's what I'd tell my 16-year-old self about travel" say our Travel Directors

If we could turn back the clock and have a heart-to-heart with our 16-year-old selves, what would we tell them? We thought we’d pose this question to the intrepid souls of our Travel Directors to find out what wisdom or advice they’d impart on their younger selves.

Travel is about more than just crossing destinations off your bucket list or collecting passport stamps like badges of honor. It can be about delving into the unknown, embracing new cultures, and seeing personal growth while spending time with family. Who – by the way – you will one day cherish! 

Time spent exploring the world is like its own classroom. Travel heals, and travel teaches us lessons. From awe-inspiring moments that leave us in wonder, to the friends and connections we make on the road, to the challenges that we face navigating new languages and cultures – we want to find out how travel has shaped the adventures and essence of our Travel Directors.

Let’s hear the wisdom that eight Travel Directors would have left for their 16-year-old self about travel, life, and spending time with family.

“Go for it, it’s an experience for once in lifetime!” says Pino

Italian Travel Director Pino Campi would tell his 16-year-old not to hesitate when it comes to travel, and simply get out there. He says travel is a chance to connect and form bonds with your family. Travel is love!

“Not only do you get to spend quality time with your family and get to know them better, but you learn new cultural experiences, customs and traditions whilst being surrounded by the ones you love most! It’s love to travel at its best!” he says.

“ I’m grateful and lucky to witness new cultural insights, and share the amazing experiences of the world with my family. 

“And perhaps later in life I’ll come back to those very places I once visited with my family.”

PLAN A TRIP: Italy Bellissimo

Your parents are people too, says Sheryl

While your 16-year-old self might have liked to avoid family time at all costs, our Travel Director Sheryl Galpin says family travel is your chance to appreciate the people in your family and the lessons they have to share.

“Traveling with my family taught me to see my parents as other people with their own personalities, not just as my parents,” says Sheryl.

“Traveling with my brothers and sisters made me see things in ways I didn’t think of on my own.”

“I would tell that kid what he already knew: go out and see the world!” says Randy

“We took a two-week drive from Ohio out west, as far as Salt Lake City. Despite no radio or air-conditioning, and sitting in a station wagon facing the opposite direction, I was in awe at how large our country is,” says Travel Director Randy Ley.

“To see snow in the Rockies in August, and so many bears in Yellowstone, it gave me a sense of wanderlust. I would tell that kid what he already knew: go out and see the world!”

TAKE A TRIP: Five Epic National Parks

Every trip is an adventure that forms part of your memories, says Marina

“Going back down memory lane and remembering family trips abroad brings back such joy remembering all the funny and also at times awkward events that happened,” says Travel Director Marina Prudenza.

“I made many lifelong friends along the way! These are memories that one cherishes for life. 

“And each trip was different and full of wonderful surprises.”

Be brave and go outside your comfort zone, says Antonella

“Don’t be afraid to get out of your circle…no one should miss the opportunity of experiencing and sharing time together with your close family, and bonding with your loved ones,” says Travel Director Antonella Perfetto.

While your 16-year-old self might not want to spend time with your family, she says the experiences will make you richer.

“Imagine yourself enjoying and tasting life at each different destination,” she says. ?You will not regret it, and actually your travel stories will enrich yourself and entertain friends once back home! 

“Plus you will get to try different kinds of gelato, pizza and much much more.

“Then, one day down the track, you will associate certain flavors with the memories of that holiday with your family and will not be able to stop smiling.”

TAKE A TRIP: Wonders of Italy

Travel is a magical gift you’re being given, says Chris

“Go out and see and feel and try to understand what is different, and what is older and long-trusted. What has been seen as true and beautiful by so many generations… there is real value and deep fun in this!” says our Travel Director Chris Daley.

“Traveling, especially with your family, will make you richer and more able to understand how things around you fit into your life, and how you fit into this big complicated world.

“It is a magical gift you are being offered by your parents and grandparents. Seize the day!!”

RELATED BLOG: Moments that matter: our Travel Directors share their favorite cultural experiences

“Get out there and cherish every moment,” says Anthony

“Make the most of any opportunity to travel with family and friends,” says our Travel Director Anthony Holmes. 

“Broadening your horizons and enjoying great experiences with those you love is such an important value all of its own.

“We never know when we won’t be able to do such a thing, so get out there and cherish every moment.”

Remember who is paying, says Eve

“And most importantly, generally your parents are paying!” Travel Director Eve Hand points out.

Yep! You have to appreciate that at 16 you probably weren’t footing the bills for your adventures!

What would you tell your 16-year-old self about travel? Leave a comments with the lessons you’ve learnt from travel and slices of wisdom you have to share….

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