Meet Kellie, Short Course and Special Programs Coordinator

What has been your favorite travel destination, why?
Kangaroo Queensland Australia.jpgAt the moment, Tasmania, Australia would be my answer. It is an absolutely beautiful region of Australia with the most amazing views. I went on a road trip with a girlfriend, and we pulled the car over so often just to get out and look! Fabulous hiking, the cleanest air, and the nicest people. I highly recommend a trip to Tassie!

How old were you when you went on your first international trip?
15

When traveling, what’s your “must-see”?
Definitely a museum of some kind. It can be art or history, does not matter the kind. There is always something to learn, and I love being able to talk to the staff and ask my own questions, as well.

Describe a time when you went outside of your comfort zone while traveling.
My first trip abroad was to China at age 15, and I was with a school group. I am very blonde and white, and needless to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was so overwhelmed by people staring at me and by the Chinese language. Not being able to understand anything that was being said around me, or read any of the signs, was so jarring and at that young age I was almost frightened. That experience definitely made me appreciate the strength it takes to move to another country at any age, especially those that come to the US for school. I try to be so patient with international students to help them feel more at ease because that is exactly what I needed when I went to China as a young girl.

Oysters Tasmania.jpgDescribe your most memorable restaurant experience while traveling.
Not really a full on restaurant, but it involved buying food from someone! Again in Tasmania, my girlfriend and I were on a drive and we saw a sign for Fresh Oysters.  So we followed it, for a long time, and finally came upon Melshell Oysters. We drove up to the food truck next to a beautiful bay, and the owner said that were going to be their last customers for their current season! We bought a dozen oysters, grabbed some lemon slices, and found the most perfect perch overlooking the bay. The sun also came out at that moment for the first time that day. No other oysters will ever taste that good!

What’s remaining on your travel bucket list?
Vietnam, Thailand, and Spain

What is your favorite seat on an airplane?
Aisle seat, for sure. On long haul flights I need to know that I have the freedom to move around, and don’t have to bother the people next to me!

What do you love about Michigan?
I love our four seasons and our fierce loyalty to our state. Michigan is so beautiful and offers so much to do regardless of your hobbies. I love the resilience of the state, as well, through the bail out of the auto industry and the Flint water crisis (crises just in my life time) I see the state still doing everything it can to thrive.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist or dolphin trainer! I still get so excited to watch Blue Planet J. This was never going to happen, though – I hated science class!

Best way to pack your bag? Roll or fold?
Roll!

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