TheStar.com | MARGO VARADI
Like many other young people on their first vacation without parents, John, 18, has two goals in mind when he heads to Varadero, Cuba, for March break:
“I expect to get really drunk, so drunk I don’t remember what I did the night before,” says the teen, smoking outside school near Yonge and Eglinton. “So drunk, my buddy is gonna put me in the recovery position.”
Plus he’s looking forward to lots of sex. “One woman for every hour,” he says with a laugh.
And what of the girlfriend that he is leaving behind? “She knows I’m going but she just trusts me…(and) what happens in Varadero stays in Varadero.”
These days, teens as young as 16 head off to popular hotspots unsupervised, hoping to take advantage of lax drinking laws.
“Age doesn’t matter at all,” says Ariana, 17, in a phone conversation from her home in the Beaches. “I was in Cuba in Grade 8 and I could order a beer for myself.”
Taking a break from the hassles of teenage life often means escaping the rules of society, school and, most of all, parents.
“I just want to get away from work and nagging parents,” says Ariana, who will go to a Cuban resort with her close friend. “I’m definitely hoping for a party vacation, relaxing during the day and at night, dancing, drinking and having fun.”
Sitting at a Second Cup at Yonge and Mount Pleasant, Rebecca, just 16, also plans on leaving her parents behind as she heads to Miami for a cruise with two friends.
“My parents want to go up to the cottage and relax,” she says. “They trust us because we are mature and responsible.”
But how mature is 16 when it comes to keeping out of trouble, especially when that 16-year-old is looking for some action?
Rebecca says her priorities are boys, booze and most important, a tan. “We’ll be stopping on different islands and if there are some cute guys, it’s a goal for me to have a good time.”
Phil, 17, from the Lawrence and Mount Pleasant area, also hopes to party hard and get lucky at a resort in Cancun. But he does admit to having a few concerns while being under the influence. “I worry that I will get robbed or something because I have heard a lot of stories about that kind of stuff and I have been working forever to save up.”
The rise of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide, including HIV, is not a concern. “We’re definitely not gonna let fear of STDs stop us from trying to get with a lot of girls,” Phil says, “but we know to be safe and stock up on condoms.”
Ariana, who is in a relationship, has no plans to hook up with drunken strangers.
“The typical girl who goes to slut herself off, I find it really gross,” she says. “They don’t know where the guys have been, where their mouths have been or anything. I’ve heard degrading things that happen in places like Cancun.”
Still, Ariana hopes to meet people and have a good time. “No matter if they (the guy) are 30 and gross or 14 and horny, I’m not going to come off as a bitch but I’ll let them know they’re not going to get lucky.”