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Failure to Launch: Cultural Immersion in Third World Countries Can Help Young Adults Living at Home

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As we’ve discussed in our previous posts, while failure to launch isn’t an actual diagnostic category, more and more young adults are finding themselves stuck in a metaphorical rut. While there are many different treatment options available to help young people who are experiencing a failure to launch, exposure to a novel environment can be extremely effective in helping these individuals.

Exposure to a novel environment, especially another culture, can be extremely helpful in aiding young adults living at home to achieve their independence. While people in third world countries have day to day worries, many young adults in America have grown up never having to worry about things like having clean drinking water, enough food to eat, or a roof over their heads.

They are more likely to be preoccupied with wearing the right brands of clothing, or having the latest cell phones and tablets. Exposing a young adult to an environment or culture in which these concerns would seem trivial or meaningless is a great way to exemplify the fact that he or she may need to reassess their priorities.

Some wilderness adventure therapy programs offer an added component of cultural immersion, with a strong emphasis on community outreach and cultural home stays to capitalize on the benefits that exposure to a novel environment can provide. Here are some additional benefits that exposure to a novel environment or another culture can provide.

Cultural Immersion in Third World Countries Can Help Young Adults Living at Home Deal with Entitlement Issues

When a young adult feels a sense of entitlement, this can be damaging to his or her work ethic and future independence. This sense of entitlement can make it extremely difficult for young adults to make it through a failure to launch. Exposing entitled young adults to an environment in which everyone has to work very hard for everything they have is a great way to deal with this sense of entitlement. This is especially effective if young adults are also asked to lend a hand and pitch in with community outreach.

Cultural Immersion in Third World Countries Can Help Young Adults Living at Home Gain a New Perspective Through Community Outreach and Cultural Home stays

Aside from helping to deal with entitlement issues, engaging in community outreach activities helps young adults gain a new perspective on life. By helping with even the most basic tasks, such as harvesting food or helping with daily chores, young adults can explore and strengthen their own core values, while gaining a deeper appreciation for the simple life.

Young Adults Living at Home Working on Oneself by Helping Others in Third World Countries

By focusing on helping others, young adults develop empathy and compassion. This fosters an appreciation and satisfaction with life that provides young adults with a greater sense of meaning in their own lives.


Young adults facing difficult life challenges can find themselves stuck in a rut or a failure to launch. Each individual’s journey toward independence is different; while some will make the journey on their own, others may need a helping hand, some guidance, and even a gentle nudge.

To find out more about helping young adults living at home achieve their independence, download our free, twelve page white paper, The Road to Independence Can Be Rough: It’s Okay to Ask for Help

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