Katya Berjawi lives to travel the world


Sophomore Katya Berjawi found herself lost from her parents while abroad in Lebanon at just three years old.

“They were looking for me for like three hours,” said Katya, who has been traveling since she was six months old. “That was really terrifying, and I ended up just sitting with some random woman.”

Katya’s family lives all over the world, which is the major reason why she travels. The major countries her family lives in include Lebanon, where her grandparents live, and Belgium, where her aunt and uncle live.

“When I visited my aunt and uncle in Belgium, I went all by myself,” Katya said. “[It] was really scary, but it was really fun, and because it’s like driving to a different state there, we got to drive to France and Germany and places like that, which is really fun.” 

When Katya visited France, she ended up making some friends, something she finds enjoyable about traveling.

“I made some friends in France,” Katya said. “We hung around the Eiffel Tower, and it was just a day thing, but they were really nice.”

Another thing she finds pleasant while traveling is the quality of the food.

Katya—a vegetarian—has found it much easier to eat in other countries as compared to the United States.  Furthermore, she finds a way to enjoy the delicacies that come to mind when thinking about the countries that she has visited.

“In Europe, [my favorite food] was definitely the pastries: croissants, macarons, and stuff,” Katya said. “In the middle-east, they have really good food. Their meat and stuff like that, well, I’m vegetarian now, but it was really good back then.”

Katya has been to over six countries, including France, Belgium, Lebanon, and Jordan, just to name a few. It is through traveling and the experiences that come with it that Katya has changed as a person. She believes that traveling influences who you are and teaches you about new people and cultures.

“I love learning about the different cultures,” Katya said. “It’s really eye-opening, and I get to see all these people. In Jordan and in the dead sea, there are a lot of people there and they have really unique cultures.”

One of Katya’s favorite places to learn about the cultures is Jordan, but her favorite country is England.

“[My favorite country was] probably England,” Katya said. “I love the weather there because I just like rainy weather. The people there are all really nice and the accents are nice, too. It was just a nice experience. I went when I was younger, and I was a really big Harry Potter fan as a kid.”

Katya’s beloved snowglobe collection started in England when she was in fifth grade.

“I just got one from like England in fifth grade, and then we went to nearby countries because we had layovers,” Katya said. “I got one from there, and it just kept going after that.”

I love learning about the different cultures.”

— Katya Berjawi

Now her desk is covered in a row of snowglobes to remind her of her travels. Most of the snowglobes she got herself, but her favorite came from her grandfather.

“[My favorite snowglobe is] the one from Lebanon,” Katya said. “Because my grandpa got me that one, I think, and the rest I got for myself.”

Katya has learned a lot more about her family by traveling. She even learned a new language to get to know them better.

“I learned how to speak Arabic by traveling a lot, which really helps me out because most of my family’s first-language is Arabic,” Katya said. “It helped me get to know them better, too. I just learned a lot of things about different places from there.”