17 year old female, backpacking around Southeast-Asia ALONE after high school?? Is this even a realistic goal?
1) Go straight to university or,
2) Go off and travel for a year before heading to university.
I’m still unsure of what degree I would study, and I feel it would benefit me hugely to get some real life experience before choosing what field of study I’ll be entering for the rest of my life??
I am also very, very shy! I feel like travelling will be very challenging and hopefully push my boundaries so I’ll be able to make the most out of my time at University.
At this stage, I’m not even sure weather travelling alone at this age is possible?? Is it that being under 18 will limit what I can and cannot do?
Any experiences or suggestions? Thanks! 🙂
Unfortunately traveling solo under the age of 18 is not really feasible. I really admire your ambition though! Traveling while you are young is one of the most rewarding things you can do! Southeast Asia is a great place to travel solo too because there are a ton of other backpackers there that you will meet along the way. You will be surprised at how easy it is to make friends if you are friendly and try to strike up conversations with strangers. You will probably end up traveling with other people for at least part of the time, or run into the same people again who are going the same way as you.
Here are a few options to consider in the meantime:
Consider applying for a seasonal job for this summer in an exciting place. I don’t know where you are from, but there are options all over Europe and North America. Depending on your work experience, skills, or interests you may be eligible to work at a vacation resort, summer camp, theme park, au pair for a family, etc. That way you will gain some travel experience being away from home, have a fun time, and save some money for university or future travels.
You could join a teenage volunteer program in Southeast Asia or another region of your choice. Your parents will have to agree to give you permission, but volunteering is a great way to experience a new culture and to give back to it. Plus, you don’t have to wait until you are 18.
You could study abroad as part of your university education.
You could do a year of university and then travel.
These are just a few options out there. Don’t let people tell you not to do it! There are inherent risks, but most of the trouble can be avoided by educating yourself on what to steer clear of.