WACO, Texas — Traveling is no stranger to Oli Pettigrew, who grew up in Hong Kong and has been to more than 50 countries.
"I've just become a bit of a world traveler," Pettigrew said. "There is no better education than travel. It's one thing that I learned from being in Oman and Vietnam and all over China and all over Europe."
The former "Right This Minute Host" and current TikTok sensation chose to call Waco home, but it took quite an interesting path to get here.
"While I was living in Singapore, I was modeling and had a casting one day in a hotel," Pettigrew said. "Then walks in this young lady, which is my wife, and she's from here, she's from this very town."
The dynamic duo spent their 20s and 30s on a worldwide adventure balancing careers in television and modeling, never knowing where they would land one day.
"If you told me, one, that I was going to marry a Texan, and two, that I'd end up living in Texas when I was, you know, 20 years old, I'd be like, 'haha, no'," Pettigrew said. "This is something that caught me off guard, but at the same time, this is something we always wanted."
Now Pettigrew shares with others the beauty of the Lone Star State.
"Texas is actually one of the friendliest places I've ever been," Pettigrew added. "Take that from someone that has traveled the world."
Pettigrew says what sticks out about Waco is the growth.
"There's cocktail bars, and there's sushi, and there's clubs, and there's all sorts of things," Pettigrew added. "I used to say that Waco was an 'on the way to' city. You drove through it on the way to Dallas on the way to San Antonio. You were never going to Waco, whereas now that's completely flipped on its head. There's even paid parking in Waco."
With his TikTok platform, ThatEnglishManInTexas, Pettigrew is able to share his love for the state with others. Pettigrew says his mission with That EnglishmanInTexas is to tell the stories of the real Texas, as opposed to the Texas that is usually being featured in the news and media for all the wrong reasons.
"It's always some observation or it's entertaining or it's a little bit of a comedy or I point something out or I go to a specific town," Pettigrew said. "I try some sort of food. I get out on the road and just go on this little Texas adventure."
It's a place Pettigrew will always cherish and call home.
"Texans are there for each other," Pettigrew said. "If a tree blows down and lands on your house, the neighbor will be there the next morning that you've never met with a chainsaw and a pickup truck to help, and that's something that you don't find everywhere you go."
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