Hardy Trip- March 2007 - Pure Life Adventure in Costa Rica

How a Novel Environment and Cultural Immersion Helps Young Adults Who Self Medicate

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Some 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. The novel environment provided by third world countries can help young adults who are struggling to really put things into perspective. Here are some of the reasons that cultural immersion in a novel environment helps these young adults.

Staying in Third World Countries Helps Put Things into Perspective for Young Adults

Young adulthood is a stressful time in one’s life. With so much changing around them, many young adults can feel overwhelmed or like they’re not moving as fast as the rest of the world. Everyone around is going to school, getting jobs, or getting married. The pressure to keep up with societal benchmarks, such as graduating from college, starting a career, or forming a committed romantic relationship can be a lot of pressure. When young adults are struggling with another issue, such as anxiety or depression, this can exacerbate the pressure that these young adults feel, leading to self medicating with drugs or alcohol.

Adventure therapy in in third world countries allow young adults to take a step back from the pressures of everyday life and immerse themselves in a culture with different values. This can be a refreshing vantage point for these young adults. When young adults experience cultural immersion in a place where things like fresh water and plenty of food are huge blessing, many realize, “These people have so little, yet are so appreciative of everything in their lives. I need to quit stressing about what’s wrong in my life, and focus on what’s going right!”

Community Service in Third World Countries Helps Young Adults Work on Themselves While Helping Others

Focusing on helping others helps young adults to 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.

Engaging in community outreach activities helps young adults gain a new perspective on life. Young adults can explore and strengthen their own core values by helping with even the most basic tasks, such as harvesting food or helping with daily chores. This really allows them to gain a deeper appreciation for the simple life.

Adventure therapy programs that expose young adults with a sense of entitlement to an environment in which everyone has to work very hard for everything they have is a great way to foster a healthy work ethic. It also helps to demonstrate just how fortunate they are for their lives at home.


Life in third world countries is a vastly different experience from what many young adults know at home. By focusing on serving others through community outreach, many adventure therapy programs are able to demonstrate just how fortunate many young adults are at home.

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