Eight-year-old Aanya Chakravarthy has more passport stamps than most adults dream of in a lifetime. In her short lifespan, she’s lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and now Massachusetts, which she calls home with her parents, Pratap Chakravarthy and Priya Jagannathan. Someday soon Aanya would like to add a dog to the brood, but for now, their globetrotting would mean having to kennel the pup, so it’s a popular topic around the dinner table. Here’s what Aanya has to say about her adventures.
So what’s your favorite subject in school?
I like art, but I’ve been a bit upset because art is on Mondays and we’ve had a lot of Mondays off. You can win prizes for it, too!
Do you like seeing art around the world since it’s different in different places?
I think my favorite part is just hanging out and having fun, especially with my mom and dad. But sometimes, if we’re sightseeing, my feet get tired.
Then what advice would you have for other kids so that doesn’t happen to them?
Sometimes I bring my Ugg boots, sometimes sneakers, maybe once in a while sandals. If it’s fancy like a restaurant I can bring my sparkly shoes with flowers. It really depends what temperature it is.
What’s your favorite kind of temperature?
I love beach vacations! We used to go to Cancun every year, but last year we went to Thailand instead.
That’s a much longer flight!
My mom and dad did it so we could fly and stop and get a day of rest in between. So the first day we got there we got to relax. When we get in early or really late, we just like to hang out or walk around the hotel. This time we got club level and even if it’s closing you can ask for some of the leftovers. If you get club level, you can get stuff like that and just chill out.
What are your favorite hotels for kids?
The Four Seasons in Firenze, Italy, The Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, Mexico, and the Four Seasons in Thailand. In Thailand, I got to have a massage on the beach, and there was a bowl of flowers beneath my face! In Thailand there’s a good kids club with yoga and a bunch of activities on different days, but in the yoga class, it was only me and one other kid.
Do you like making new friends on your travels?
I like to spend time in the kids clubs, but I like spending time with my mom and dad more. When I was 6, we went to Cancun, of course, and this girl who could only speak Spanish became my friend, but other kids could speak some English. In Mexico, Carla babysits me in the kids club there and, one time, I even got to choose which piñata we got to use. We watch movies there, too. But when I’m with parents, l like digging a hole on the beach and seeing the water fill in, and how the ocean takes the water back.
Do you like trying new foods when you’re on vacation?
One time we went to a Korean restaurant in New York and, some of the stuff, you smelled it and went, “ewwww.” They made me eat food I wouldn’t normally eat but in some ways it made me want to eat there if we ever go again — I may even do seven courses, and my mom and dad only did five. They had these dessert bananas that were actually milk chocolate, and my mom thought they were all candy fruit.
What’s been your biggest adventure so far?
I’ve been to India many times because my parents are from there, but that’s when I was younger. It’s quite different and it’s like, wow you have no idea when the power’s going to go out. I could be sitting in my grandparents’ house and the fans could be slowing down and speeding up, or the lights could be going on or off. My mom still cooks all Indian foods and some of my grandparents live here now and I go to eat over their house. They cook like vegetarians, though, so sometimes they let me go to Chick-Fil-A. That’s how I get my meat.
What’s your dream trip?
I want to go to Hershey Park. Or China. I want to see what they eat and drink. My dad used to go to China a lot for work and he’d bring me stuffed panda bears.
Is that your favorite animal?
I really want a doggie. Maybe a labradoodle. But if you have a dog you have to call a babysitter or something when you travel.
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