For most people, experiences at airports while navigating around the hustle and bustle of the crowd can be slightly stressful, but for freshman Avery Schanski, airports bring a feeling of excitement.
“I love flying,” said Avery. “It’s just so fun because you get to get up early and go to the airport with your family and friends—it’s just easier to fly, and it’s more fun [than traveling by car].”
Not only does the airport bring fun family travel moments, but it also results in beautiful destinations both near and far.
Avery considers traveling a significant part of her life as it allows her to gain perspective on parts of the world that she normally doesn’t get to see. Immersing herself in different cultures, such as those in Mexico, has made her very fond of traveling and all the adventures it brings her.
For the past couple of years during spring break, Avery and her family, including her grandparents, flew down to Mexico for a relaxing vacation. Besides the typical beach days that included hours of swimming and relaxing by the pool, she took the opportunity to observe some of the city.
“We went to [a town in Mexico with] a ton of houses,” Avery said, “and there were restaurants, but the area was impoverished—it was eye-opening because I have everything here, so it was interesting to see that [difference].”
Traveling somewhere on vacation with a completely different dynamic than what you’re used to for the sole purpose of relaxation and beautiful beach views is one way of traveling. However, Avery tends to sprinkle learning experiences into her vacations as well.
“We went to this market,” Avery said, “and went to church [in the city] and bought things and just experienced [everything happening around us]. [Mexico] is very diverse, interesting, and has a rich history and vibrant culture. The people are so welcoming.”
At the end of each vacation, Avery can say that she leaves Mexico with something more than a few souvenir rings and bracelets; she leaves with a unique experience and knowledge she can take back to Michigan with her.
“Traveling has made me grateful for what I have at home,” Avery said. “Sometimes traveling and seeing things makes me appreciate what I have.”
Another place that is a preferred destination for Avery is her family’s cabin in the city of Naubinway located in the Upper Peninsula. Though the trip up there by car is around five hours, the time spent away from the busyness that life may bring is completely worth it.
Up in the forests of the UP, Avery cherishes the time she spends outdoors. Though Avery is a person who loves to be by the tropical waters, she also finds peace in the more wooded regions of the world.
“My dad taught me to fish, [and] fishing is my favorite thing to do [while I’m up at the cabin],” Avery said. “[I also love] hiking and being in the woods.”
Being only a freshman in high school, Avery has plenty of time to think about what she wants to do for her future, but she does know that she hopes traveling will play a part in it.
“I want a job that allows me [to be] flexible,” Avery said, “and something I like doing, but I don’t really know [what exactly].”
However, by being well-traveled, Avery hopes that she can get a feel for parts of the world that can help her decide where she may want to end up in the future.
“I don’t know exactly where I want to live permanently,” Avery said. “I like Michigan a lot, but I want to see other places first.”
For Avery, the perfect blend of a travel experience includes dedicated hours of relaxation coupled with unique experiences she can’t get anywhere else.
Above all, any worthwhile getaway provides her with the most important factor that goes into planning a trip: a break.
“It gives me a break,” Avery said. “Sometimes it gets to be too much when I have all these responsibilities, so it’s nice to go places and have a change of scenery—it’s always relaxing to be in those places.”