My Other Life with Azita McDermott

PM360 recently spoke to Azita McDermott, Director, Marketing, U.S. Neurology & Immunology at EMD Serono, about developing her daughter’s interest in world maps.

PM360: We hear you have turned your constant travel for work into an opportunity for your daughter. Can you tell us more about that?

Azita McDermott: My husband and I both do quite a bit of domestic and international travel for work and want Anya to get used to the travel lifestyle as well. At 4 years old, she has already taken more than 20 trips on airplanes around the U.S. She has a thirst for traveling and learning about the world, and this led to her interest in world maps.

Tell us more about her interest in maps.

She first became interested in world maps so she could track where we were traveling and, more importantly, where she has been. Naturally, that turned her enthusiasm into learning about different cultures, languages, flags, and the various wild life around the world.

Does she collect world maps or does she just like to study them?

She’s not a collector per say, but she has four world maps and is saving money to buy a globe. We recently got her interested in “Little Passports” so she can “visit” places around the world. She knows all the states in the U.S. and major countries and cities around the world, and she has the ability to identify their flags.

What has been the most interesting place you have traveled to?

The farthest location and most interesting place we have taken Anya to date is to Bend, OR, when she was just 12 months old. She loves animals, wild life, and aquariums, so we took her to Crater Lake National Park to see the wild life and terrain of that region of the U.S. We saw bald eagles, hawks, owls, deer, and fox. We also had a local rabbit that would visit our front yard every night.

What are some of the other locations your family has visited across the U.S.?

Like many other children, Florida is Anya’s favorite state. She really enjoys going to Animal Kingdom (more than Magic Kingdom and the other Disney resorts).

In fact, we visited Orlando three times in one year. We had the opportunity to add on long weekends and family vacations due to work trips that my husband and I had taken. Other states she’s visited include Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

What locations do you hope to take her to, but haven’t visited yet?

There are so many places she wants to visit, starting with Australia and China. But most likely, her first overseas trip will be to Ireland or France this year.

Do you have any other hobbies?

We keep quite busy around Massachusetts by taking family hikes, exploring beaches (collecting sea shells and rocks), visiting historical sites in Boston, and, of course, going shopping. When we’re not outdoors, Anya and I enjoy practicing “baby yoga” together.


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