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  • Writer's pictureLaura Peters

It All Started with a TV Ad

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

By the time I was six years old I was captivated by the idea of far away lands. A babysitter I had was an elderly woman from Switzerland. She went home for a visit and sent me a postcard with a photo of two stuffed animal kittens dressed in lederhosen. I think I still have it. I could tell there was something different about these stuffed kitties. Something magical.

Four or five years later I saw an ad for Pan American Airways on our twenty-inch black and white television. This is when television featured four channels and went to a test signal at 1:00am. The tag line in the ad delivered in the deep voice of a male narrator said, “Our stewardesses know their way around the world, the way most girls know their way around the block.” Okay, let’s ignore the sexism in this statement, the idea caught my imagination. Could I learn my way around the whole world? Could flying to London, Paris, or Hong Kong become second nature even to me?

The answer is yes, it could and it would, and, twenty years later, I could share my love and knowledge of experiencing new places and cultures with my children so that they would ultimately be teaching me a thing or two about travel.


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