Humans of LSE: Abby Schessler


Photo By: Max Schessler

Emma Botelho, Staff Writer

Traveling off the beaten path is what Abby Schessler (10) and her family decided to do this summer. After coming to the conclusion that an escape from this summer heat is what they needed, a trip to the cool and collected Alaska was their travel destination of choice. 

But getting to Alaska may have been harder said than done. After missing their first flight to Vancouver, Canada, and hopping on the next available, they found themselves two hours late to the boarding of their ship, leaving them in Vancouver as their ship sailed to Alaska. The only option they had now was to spend a night in Vancouver, board a plane to Juneau, Alaska, and wait for the cruise to dock there so they could get on board. Despite the flight delay, they boarded a ship in Juneau and it was smooth sailing from there.

“[Alaska] was gorgeous, like it was really gorgeous,” Schessler said. 

Schessler and her family spent most of their time off-ship, taking scenic hikes and filtering through local shops and venues. While shopping was fun, Schessler made it clear that hiking was the highlight of her trip. She got to see many amazing landmarks such as Nugget Falls, which she claims to be her favorite because it used to be part of an old goldmine. Along the way, she got to interact with wildlife that’s usually not found in Nebraska. 

“Hiking and seeing all the trees, animals and streams; really just interacting with nature, is what made it so gorgeous and is really what sets this cruise apart,” Schessler said.

Schessler spent two days entirely at sea. On these days, she got to discover a different aspect of Alaska’s landscape, the ocean. Schessler got to see whales and seals on the coast and discovered a completely different ecosystem than that of continental Alaska. 

Recently, many glaciers in Alaska’s coasts have experienced major melting, and Schessler experienced this first-hand. 

“[A researcher] showed us a photo of the glaciers 10 years ago and how much they’ve shrunk today. It’s crazy, they’re like receded almost 20 feet back,” Schessler said.

Climate change is a hot topic in Alaska and that really took Schessler by surprise. 

“In Alaska, it’s kind of interesting how they don’t question climate change, because they all see it first-hand. But here in Nebraska, we’re just like: well, this is kind of happening,” Schessler said. 

Schessler also explained how most of her tour guides and people who were on her ship have gone mostly vegetarian to help cut down on their carbon footprint. 

On her voyage back home, Schessler had a whole new set of experiences under her belt. Her trip did provoke one major thought that has been in her mind since she left. 

“We need to start thinking about what we can do to help stop global warming, or at least be more aware of how we’re contributing,” Schessler said.