Meet Annita: in her own words
“Becoming a world traveler wasn’t on my radar as a young girl. I wanted to be a businesswoman who would take the world by storm or at least my hometown. However, as fate would have it travel entered my life via WWII stories my father shared and I lingered to hear every detail of his travels through North Africa and Europe as a soldier. I imagined walking the same cobbled stone streets, sipping coffee in French Cafes tucked away along narrow streets and late night chats with new friends over Spanish tapas and Sangria.
Supplied by Annita Thomas
I applied with Pan American World Airways and started my journey to explore cultures, see far away lands and meet new friends around the world. Exploring cultures became the highlight of my travels. I was intrigued to see we lived our lives differently around the world. On my first Pan Am flight to Japan, during a Soba Noodles meal service (Japanese noodles made of buckwheat), I heard passengers slurping their noodles. I was shocked because my mother always instructed that I not slurp my noodles, but cut them neatly enough to fit on my fork along with the spaghetti sauce. I later discovered this too was not the way to eat noodles in Italy. I was amazed to learn that while my mother in South Georgia taught me “do not slurp, but cut,” another mother in Japan was teaching her little girl “slurp to show how delicious the noodles are.” And, in Italy, little girls were learning to twirl their noodles with a fork & spoon. My first lesson in cross-cultural communication helped me learn we love the same things around the world, although we express it in different ways.
After traveling to over 100 countries, people often ask where is my favorite destination and that’s not an easy question for me. I am still intrigued by the cultural differences of the people, places, and foods I experience. I love exploring them all. Instead of expressing a preference for one destination over another, I want to inspire others to get up from the sofa, put down the city/country brochures and travel the world. Through my radio show I seek to encourage listeners to have the one-on-one experiences of places right down the street, across town or around the world; explore this beautiful world we call home, and you will find there are more similarities than differences between people around the globe and most differences don’t really make that much difference. Go explore – the world is waiting!”
Visit my website and social media to explore the world with me:
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Annita. This year for my birthday , I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 10 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***