Bettany Hughes has been a fixture on British television for more than two decades. The 56-year-old historian and TV presenter has a special expertise in ancient times and is a sought-after lecturer. She’s written several bestselling books, from her first—Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whoreto her most recent, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: An Extraordinary New Journey Through History’s Greatest Treasures, out on April 23.

Hughes lives in London but spends much of the year abroad, logging about 75,000 miles in the air. Her favorite carrier is SriLankan Airlines, a legacy from when she was shooting a show focusing on the ancient Buddhist world. “We had lots of delayed flights, and every time there was a delayed flight, they helped with a lovely pot of ginger tea in a silver teapot,” she says. “Even when I was flying economy, they looked after me.”

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