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Sophomore Chloe Zeien has developed a love for traveling

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Among the myriad of things important to sophomore Chloe Zeien, her love for spending time with family and traveling are the most notable.

Every summer, Chloe, her mother, and her younger sister travel across the world to visit relatives in France. Chloe doesn’t necessarily consider the long trip as a vacation; rather, she considers it everyday life. 

“I think [visiting in the summer] makes it a little bit more special just knowing that you only have limited time with [those relatives],” said Chloe, who speaks fluent French. “If I want to see my family here, we could make it work during Christmas or Thanksgiving. But, knowing that I won’t see them for a whole year makes it really hard to leave and the times more special.”

Often times, Chloe and her family do normal activities throughout her stay in the small village her relatives reside in like grabbing breakfast at the local bakery, swimming in the public lakes, and taking the time to bond as a family. However, her family will occasionally take trips to nearby countries like Switzerland and Italy to go on hikes.

“Hiking the mountains with my mom and finally getting to the bottom of the mountain after hours and hours of hiking in the hot sun is really a rewarding moment,” Chloe said.

On a typical spring break, Chloe enjoys being able to travel to different places every year with her dad. Over the years, she has come to favor the tropical destinations in order to avoid of the cool beginning of spring in Michigan.

One of her most memorable trips was to Costa Rica where she stayed in a tree house hotel with her family. Chloe went on tours in the jungle and drove to different areas to see different parts of nature, especially the wildlife native to the country such as sloths and monkeys.

“It was really cool waking up in nature with all the animals,” Chloe said. “I could hear all the birds and hummingbirds around me.”

The most impactful part of those types of trips for Chloe were the moments spent keeping her eyes open to everything around her and seeing new things.

“You are just walking and walking looking for a certain [piece of] nature, and you just don’t see it,” Chloe said. “You keep going and then you’re finally seeing it. That happened with sloths; we were looking for them. We really want to see a sloth and just finally seeing it and how amazing the animals are is really cool.”

Chloe said that she doesn’t quite have a definite plan for the future except for destinations she wishes to see. Her number one destination: Australia. Chloe hopes to continue traveling for the rest of her life but explained she has a certain interest in the geography and nature of the country.

“My dream vacation spot would definitely be Australia because I really like snorkeling and I would love to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and see all the wildlife,” Chloe said.

Travel has been a large part of her life, and Chloe looks forward to the point in her future when she can share her love for it with a family of her own.

“I would like to have a family and be able to travel with them, so I can give my children the same experiences I had growing up if I can,” Chloe said. “Because it’s really cool to see the world and be able to travel.”

The trips Chloe has taken throughout her life have helped shape her character and personality by giving her a look into the lives of people in other parts of the world that some others don’t experience.

“[Travelling] opens my eyes to see that there’s a lot more than just our little community,” said Chloe. “It’s easy just to be in the mindset that nothing else in the world matters, but really, when you get out, you realize there’s so much more, and going to third world countries you see how hard life can be there, and it makes you that much more grateful for what we have.”

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Sophomore Chloe Zeien has developed a love for traveling