Thanks Mom

Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 2 Comments
Mom at Christmas

I’d like to dedicate this post to my Mom who was my inspiration for traveling.

My Mom was a travel agent and she went everywhere. All over America, Europe, South America, Australia and the South Pacific.
South America Again
South America was a Favorite Destination

Even when I didn’t want to go, she dragged me along and exposed me to things I’d only read about in books. When I wrinkled my nose at the idea of buying wild strawberries in France (they looked dirty and misshapen), she bought them anyway, and of course, they were the best strawberries ever. I remember the first time I drank tea with milk in a small thatched bungalow in Fiji. That too, was delicious. Hiking in the Swiss Alps followed by shopping for a swiss army knife in Interlaken were things my 13 year old self loved doing. Somehow, we even managed to bring back a crossbow in our checked baggage. Not sure if I would try that now. Taking a day trip from Freiburg, Germany to the castle ruins of Hochburg was a big hit also. I remember scrambling up all the steps and imagining myself a medieval knight laying siege to the castle. We don’t have castle ruins in Los Angeles.

Scaling the Castle Wall
Me Scaling the Castle Wall

I loved going to work with my Mom. Her office, Jesson Travel, was located in the World Trade Center in downtown LA. Everything about going there was exciting. Mr. Jesson, the owner, was a Hemingway-esque man who loved to tell the craziest stories about all the places he’d been. I was never sure which ones were true and I would grill my Mom about them on our drives home. The one that always fascinated me most was about his personal island, Jessonia, of which he had many photos on the walls. Supposedly it is located off the Peruvian coast smack dab in the Amazon. I couldn’t fathom how someone could own an island. Jesson was quite a character. He even imported a kinkajou and an ocelot and had them as pets. You can see a short story here in Life magazine (Nov. 10, 1952).

As you can imagine, after having my head filled with crazy travel stories and having my Mom take me all over the world, I had no choice but to become an adventurous traveler myself.

Algis at LAX
Me at LAX way back when

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  1. Wow! I had no idea – what a great post!

  2. Algis, I love this post. Your little kid pictures look way more cosmopolitan than mine! And now I totally want name shirts for the boys.

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Hi, I’m Algis


I have an insatiable wanderlust which takes me to some crazy places where I try strange foods, pretend I'm a local and talk with elephants. Keep reading...

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