- Shaesta Waiz began her journey from Florida in a six-seater plane
- She was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan and was terrified of flying as a girl
"I said to my mom, 'I hope I never ever have to fly in an airplane,'" she said. "I was so scared and terrified."
Now Waiz is a certified pilot in the middle of a solo flight around the world. By the time the 30-year-old completes her journey in September in Daytona Beach, Florida, she plans to have made more than two dozen stops in some 18 countries.
She also hopes her trip will "inspire girls and young women worldwide to dream big and achieve more," especially in the fields of science, math, engineering and aviation.
Her flight, in a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza A36, will take Waiz more than 25,000 miles. But it pales compared to her personal journey, which began three decades ago in a refugee camp in Afghanistan.