Name: Akitriana

Age: 21

Hometown: Washington, D.C., USA

Explored: Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, Cairns, Gold Coast, and Brisbane, Australia

About: University of Virginia Student


"Never in my life did I think I would live in Australia for 6 months. I thought I would check it off my bucket list by the time I was forty, and here I was getting on an over 13-hour flight to travel over 10,000 miles by myself. Honestly my time abroad was the best time of my life! I travelled all around Australia: Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, Cairns, Gold Coast, and Brisbane. I saw the 12 Apostles, petted kangaroos, saw dolphins and whales, scuba dived and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, and I even hiked the Blue Mountains for my birthday. All this traveling in Australia inspired me to travel to other countries, and I travelled to Malaysia, China, and Indonesia in my spare time.

 If you are thinking about traveling: do it! Being afraid is just a part of the territory when it comes to trying anything new. Going to Australia was the furthest and longest time I was away from home, and I was absolutely terrified! But you know what terrified me more: allowing fear to hinder me from growing as an individual. Traveling is so rewarding because you get to challenge your worldview of different cultures and see some beautiful and amazing things and people. The hardest part about traveling is getting the courage to buy the plane ticket. The rest will fall into place. So take a chance. Take the risk. Don’t like fear guide you, and live a little."

Lindsey Shavers