Is American Youth Wasted? – 1

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – I’m surrounded by lots of age 20-30 something Canadians & Aussies, with a handful of Europeans. They’re friendly, knowledgeable, confident and curious. There’s nary an American to be found. The ones you do see have hired guides and take taxis rather than walking and exploring on their own. I’ve had this same experience in Africa and other parts of Latin America.

Has the US poured its next generation into the jello mold of gotta-a-job-or-else?

These kids I’ve met learn more on the road than US kids learn in a classroom. They learn that, under the cosmetic differences, people are the same all over the world. They learn how to deal with the new and unexpected. They learn to deal with hardship in ways that most American kids don’t.

They learn.

They experience.

Life – unmediated and unchaperoned.



4 Comments on “Is American Youth Wasted? – 1

  1. I think helicopter parenting and the “stranger danger” mentality has a lot to do with this; the current generation of young people were raised by a generation of parents conditioned to see the world as a dangerous place and to protect their kids at all costs. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was watch from a distance as my daughter traipsed around and got into some rather dicey situations during her semester in England and her recent residence in LA. But she’s a better person for it, and so am I.

  2. So many of the younger US generation have been so inundated with having to have as much of the all might dollar as they can get they forget or haven’t realized there is life beyond it and the media has scared everyone simple about the safety or lack of traveling in other countries, especially woman.
    I have always admired people who have just thrown caution to the wind and traveled.
    I’d love to go on one of your expeditions some day.

  3. Hi Jim my sister knows your sister in South Carolina and thought maybe we could connect. I’m in Antigua until 17 January studying Spanish and wondered if there’s any time we could get together to chat?

    • Would love to get together, but I’m in a daily yoga/meditation practice til early Feb. Will you be down by the lake at all later in January?

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