A life on Martha’s Vineyard, last year in Delhi, next year in Cairo and Stanford after that. Some people might relish the comfort and security of the bounded Island domain, but Sarah Johnson, this year’s co-valedictorian at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, wants to explore.

She shares the honor with Mary Harrington, who could not be reached for an interview.

When asked where in the world she’d like to go, Ms. Johnson responded with a giggle, “Everyplace?” and went on to name every continent she had not yet seen.

Before her year in Delhi, India, organized through the YES Abroad program with the State Department, Ms. Johnson had not traveled extensively. Her experience abroad helped her to decide to study farther afield than many of her classmates — at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and to take a gap year in Egypt before beginning college in the fall of 2012.

In Egypt, Ms. Johnson will be living in Cairo, in an apartment shared with other students from all over the world, and working as an intern at an Egyptian nongovernmental organization. She’ll be developing her own project, spending most of her time working with refugees and impoverished Egyptians in Cairo. An intrepid and fearless traveler, Ms. Johnson said she is not afraid of being in Cairo in the wake of the Tahrir Square revolution this past January.

“I’m a little bit nervous, but I know some people who are there right now, and they say it’s very stable, and that the American news is pretty hyped up. I think it might be scary to be there during their first elections in October but I’m not worried,” she said in an interview in Edgartown early this week.

While it may seem extraordinary that Ms. Johnson will have lived in both India and Egypt before she even goes to college, she doesn’t find it particularly remarkable. Several other students from her class studied abroad during their junior year, a few in the same program as Ms. Johnson. They went to Italy, France, Japan and Costa Rica. “My class, 2011, in particular likes to travel. I think we like to explore,” she said.

Her interest in the world beyond the Island shores is both longstanding and deeply rooted: “I’ve lived on the Island my whole life. I love it here, but I want to see more of the world, and I’ve always wanted to study international relations in college,” she said.

She picked Stanford based on both its international relations program and the strength of its Arabic department; she plans to take Arabic classes in Cairo. Egyptian Arabic is a different dialect than what she’ll learn at Stanford, she said, but “it’s a good place to start.”

In addition to its academic strengths, Ms. Johnson felt the pull of Stanford from its geographical location: “California was a big thing for me,” she explained. “It makes it more interesting to go somewhere that not a lot of people from the Vineyard have gone before, and where I won’t know anyone.”

As for how her parents feel about her desire to live far away from home, she said: “My parents are trying to accept that it’s kind of inevitable that I’ll go all over the world. They were really excited about my starting college in the fall, and when I told them I wanted to take a gap year, they were like, ‘But California is already far enough!’”

Her desire to live in California and other parts of the world is not the only thing that sets Ms. Johnson apart from her parents. Her mother, Debra Swanson, and father, Richard Johnson, of Oak Bluffs, are scientists, biologists and conservationists who teach. “The fact that they were both scientists made me want to do something different,” she said.

Her mother teaches at the high school. “She came to the high school when I was in 10th grade, but she only teaches ninth grade, so none of my friends ever had her. I’ll pass her in the hall and she won’t wave because she’s afraid of embarrassing me, but I told her it’s totally fine!”

Her parents’ passion for the natural world has made an imprint on her. “I love the stuff that they’ve taught me, and I’ve loved going camping and backpacking with them,” she said, without hesitation naming Cedar Tree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary as one of her favorite places on the Island. “I grew up literally in the parking lot, because my dad used to work for the people who owned it, so I spent a lot of time there. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s nice — very insulated, even for here,” she said.

Another favorite Island place is Camp Jabberwocky, where she will work this summer before she leaves for Cairo in August. “It’s a really special place, and one of my favorite places to be.” For her, Camp Jabberwocky is one of the small communities that help make the Island and its larger community special.

“I definitely think it’s a unique and special community, and I’ve actually been thinking a lot about it for my [valedictory] speech. Even though we fight and disagree with each other about things like the wind farm, when it comes to off-Island, we all agree. We can all agree that we want to beat Nantucket,” she said. “And it’s nice that it’s a small community, and wherever you go, you’ll see people you know, and you can immediately tell who’s a tourist. Everyone takes care of each other, and even teachers, friends, and parents of friends look out for you.”

She also noted that being from the Vineyard, and from such a unique community, provided a bit of an advantage in the college application process. “One of my interviewers, who was from Boston, when he found out that I was from the Vineyard said, ‘Whoa, I hear crazy stuff happens there,’ and his wife was from Cape Cod, so I don’t know why he thought that or what he meant . . . But the schools definitely seemed excited to have someone from the Vineyard.”

The memories of this small, protective community are something Ms. Johnson will take with her as she ventures out in the world. “When I went to India, I was surprised at how quickly I adjusted to that culture — to seeing the caste system and the poverty, when it didn’t affect me directly. Maybe it’s a good idea not to adjust, but to adjust some part of the world to you, and to the amazing experiences we’ve all had on the Island.”