Common Summer or Unique Travel Experiences

Gracie Danciu, junior, said she enjoyed seeing wild ponies that wandered freely on the beach she visited in North Carolina.

Gracie Danciu, junior, said she enjoyed seeing wild ponies that wandered freely on the beach she visited in North Carolina.

Trevor Fox, Staff Reporter

Gracie Danciu, junior, was initially not expecting much more than a typical trip when her family left for North Carolina, but when the week was over, she found that it was far from typical.

It all started with a trip out East.

Danciu and her family flew out to Virginia to catch up with their cousins and extended family for a road trip down the coast into North Carolina.

“I know that Gracie really likes the East Coast and that she was thinking about going to college there, so I think that it was good for her to go there,” said junior Emily Love, a friend of Danciu.

According to National Geographic, the East Coast, especially North Carolina, is known for its beautiful beaches with warm breezes, cool ocean waves and friendly bungalows.

“It definitely was more than I expected,” Danciu said.

One part of the trip that Danciu was not expecting was the wildlife.

“There were ponies, and since they’re wild, they were pretty skinny and ornery — they’re not like the kind of ponies that you see at a fair or anything,” she said. “They would just be in packs of them just running. We had a couple mornings [where] we’d go outside our door, and there’d just be three horses sitting in the driveway, just walking around.”

The ponies were a big hit for the other tourists visiting the area as well. Some would pay up to $50 to take tours and see the animals roaming around.

“[The other tourists] were under the impression that you had to pay to drive on those roads, but they were public roads, and the horses were everywhere, so I felt bad for them,” said Danciu.

These tourists travel to North Carolina in droves. Each year, the state attracts more than 44 million visitors. This summer, however, some of these visitors had an unpleasant experience.

There were shark attacks in North Carolina this past summer. Love said that when she heard about the attacks, she contacted Danciu to see if she was okay.

“I was [thinking]  ‘I gotta make sure that’s not Gracie’,” said Love.

The Danciu family was all okay, but it made for another story to tell.

While Danciu enjoyed these unique stories from her family trip, she also enjoyed the simplicity of it.

“It was just a really nice trip after the whole school year,” Danciu said.

She enjoyed the opportunity to decompress with her family.

Danciu was able to enjoy the beach house that her family stayed in, which enabled her to watch sunsets on the beach as well as go for runs along the ocean. Altogether, it created a relaxing feel for her — a feel that makes the traveler return refreshed.

Danciu looks back to her week in North Carolina with gratitude for being able to grow closer to extended family that she does not see much.

For her, this trip was one of the best she has ever had. It is not the same as going to England or France, which she also ranks at the top of her travel list, but is just as memorable.

As a result, she would recommend this trip to those who love a little adventure mixed with a little relaxation.

She said that it “was a nice chance to be able to be so close to [family] but in a place that was new for all of us.”