So my cousin "S", who's 18 and just graduated from high school, decided that, instead of going straight into university, she would go and see a bit of the world first. She just left today.
She's joined a program through Canad World Youth, volunteering with others to help out in the community. First, she'll be going to Grandby, Quebec for 3 months. Right after that, she'll be travelling to Africa (Senegal I think) for another 3 months of community work. CWY strongly discourages meetings with friends and family, so she won't be home for the next 6 months.
S is a really smart cookie, she's self-reliant, and whatever she puts her mind to doing, she can go a long way. But she doesn't know what direction she wants to take yet (like most 18 year olds). Hopefully by being away from her comfort zone, she will learn to discover where her passions will bend towards and discover her own path in life.