“Think of traveling as an investment in yourself and your future. Get out of your comfort zone and you will get great rewards and lifelong memories which will widen your understanding of the world and enrich your lives,” was the message to hundreds of young participants of “Travel to Europe” events organized in over 20 communities across BiH during the summer holidays.
With the aim of promoting the mobility of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and encouraging them to travel across Europe, the EU Info Centre organised a series of educational youth gatherings, in mostly smaller communities across the country, aimed to encourage BiH youth to visit Europe, to become acquainted with multicultural communities, exchange experiences with peers, enjoy first-hand experience of what the European Union represents, embracing the common European identity and gaining knowledge of the EU.
“Do not be afraid of travel and the changes that will happen to you! Journeys will expand your horizons and challenge your misconceptions. In other words, you will learn a lot about others and about yourself, and that will change you,” said Inga Kotlo, young BiH traveler.
A pool of young experienced travelers, who have traveled across Europe and the world by train, bus, bicycle or hitchhiking, shared their rich experience and useful tips for travelling. The speakers inspired hundreds of potential young future travelers and shared their visions of how traveling enriched their lives and changed their perspectives through experiencing new cultures, traditions and lifestyles.
Harun Nuhanović, one of the future young travelers said: “I would primarily like to visit neighboring countries, and then continue across Europe. Certainly, I would choose destinations close to the sea as a priority, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Given that I like nature, the first means of transport that I wish to use on my travels is definitely train.”
The greatest interest was shown for advice on finding cheap travel options and accommodations such as youth hotels, couch-surfing, etc. as well as the best ways to discover rich cultural heritage and explore big European cities. When comparing themselves prior and after their adventures across the world, all of the participants agreed that traveling has made them better persons and hoped that their stories will inspire new travelers.
The European Union has been actively supporting youth mobility and the new Youth Strategy for the upcoming period highlights the need for more equal opportunities for young people in the education process and the labor market as well as encouraging the youth to more actively participate in the society with more investments placed under relevant funding programmes such as Erasmus+ and other youth exchange and mobility programmes.