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Sail Away Contest

Finalist for the week of September 22

The Savvy Traveler's Sail Away Contest

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If you could travel anywhere in the world, anywhere in time, where would you go? We've already received some terrific essays, stories of summer nights past in Minnesotta, the Scottish Highlands in the 1800s, dreams of going on safari with Teddy Roosevelt. Melanie Denstaedt from Upland, California really moved us with her essay. She's now our finalist this week. Here's her letter:

Return to Freedom
by Melanie Denstaedt

One of the most wonderful things about travel is the the "unknown" element of a trip. I've always enjoyed visiting places with historical relevance to my life, and if I could travel anywhere without the boundaries of time, I would travel back to rural Mississippi in 1865. I would love to see my newly freed ancestors as they embark on the trip of a lifetime. Can you imagine how beautiful the great unknown must have looked? I'm sure they were afraid and excited at the same time. Everything probably smelled and looked different, trees were taller and the ground felt more secure under their feet. Many of my ancestors probably spent their entire lives on a plantation, and had never seen anything beyond the plantation's boundaries. Ahhh... The exhilaration! The trepidation. Do we turn left or right? Go straight or move south? How did they decide which way to go? However they came to decide, the freedom to make a choice and choose a direction must have been powerful. And, I could say that their first travel choice, that simple choice of going south or north, right or left, is directly related to my life, for had they gone in a different direction I might not be who I am today. I would love to have been with them and reveled in that moment of freedom.

American Airlines Alsons II

American Airlines



Be sure to read our other finalist essays.

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