Traveling the world with Alexandra Danovitch

 

When she’s not riding horses with UF’s equestrian team or mentoring business students, she’s probably traveling the world.

At 21 years old, Alexandra Danovitch has seen the sun rise and set in about 25 countries throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. Jet lag, she said, is something even the most experienced travelers never get used to, but jetting off is something she’ll never tire of. In fact, she said she considers airplanes to be her “second home.”

That’s what happens when your Mom is a flight attendant for United Airlines for 30 years and your Dad worked for Iberia Airlines for a couple of decades, she said. Discounted flights are the biggest perk of her parents’ jobs, and she said she has been hopping over the pond ever since she was little. Though she mostly travels with her family, Danovitch has embarked on journeys her parents haven’t experienced, such as seeing the Taj Mahal and the Kotel in Jerusalem.


Her most recent solo adventure was this past spring in Spain with the UF in Madrid program. But it wasn’t her first time to the country, she said, and it won’t be her last. Danovitch has ventured there in the past to visit family friends, similar to her relationship with Argentina, where her father was born and raised. This semester, her travel was specifically focused on her studies, but she said there is always something to learn, and you shouldn’t wait to start.

“The younger you travel the better because you learn more,” she said. “It changes your life, as cheesy as that sounds.

"When you’re younger, it changes your attitude and it changes your perspective.”

Danovitch said children tend to think the world revolves around them, but exposure to different cultures and people broadens awareness. Travel instills a trait that is unnoticeable until surrounded by peers, she said.

Tumblr blogs and aspiring students have often uttered the phrase, “Some day I’ll travel the world.” Danovitch said she has, which is something not many people her age can claim, but she’s only getting started. She said she hopes her next calling is to Australia or a volunteer program in Namibia.

No matter how old she gets, Danovitch said one thing that will stay constant is the coziness of a plane as she delves into her next Kindle book awaiting a new destination.

Once she’s there, she said the most important thing is to use time wisely. Danovitch said she’s the type of person who has to get a taste of it all – the historic UNESCO sites, the art, the food. Her favorite part of any trip is simply walking around, she said. Sometimes she’ll stumble upon a rare delight.

She recalled a quote by Roald Dahl: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”