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Work Hard, Play Hard: Mark Harmon, Founder, Auberge Resorts

Mark Harmon is living proof that you can be equal parts business executive, sybarite, and adrenaline junkie all at once while out on the road. The founder of Auberge Resorts Collection shares how he seeks out life’s finest pleasures on his travels.

Let’s play spin the globe—name the one place you’ve always wanted to go.
Africa. On a safari. 

What’s your spirit city? (Where do you want to return to over and over?)
It would have to be Paris.

Do you have a travel ritual?
If I am anywhere near water, I will take a morning swim (no matter what time of year). It's sort of a baptism for me, a new beginning. I love to swim in the Sea of Cortez, Lake Tahoe in winter, Cathedral Lake (Aspen) in summer...

Do you maintain any routines from home while traveling or does it all go out the window?
I work out every day, on the road and at home.

Sorry, you only get to eat one regional cuisine for the rest of your life. What is it?
Italian, of course.

Paris is one of Harmon's favorite cities.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone traveling abroad for the first time?
Research carefully in advance: read all the blogs and insider travel tips (like AFAR) that you can. And then when you get there, be spontaneous and open to all the possibilities!

Describe your travel personality in three words.
Adventurous, energetic, enthusiastic. 

Are your trips very planned, or very spontaneous?
Both.  

What's the one travel souvenir you'd save in a fire?
A framed photo of my wife, Kimberley, and me as newlyweds in Paris on our honeymoon, on a rowboat on a lake in the Bois de Boulogne, on a perfect day. We look so young and we didn't have a care in the world.

What book/movie most inspired you to travel?
I always loved Warren Miller's ski movies growing up, and they inspired me to ski everywhere.

Who’s your ideal travel partner?
My lovely and talented wife, Kimberley.

Which travel experience do you prefer: plugged in or unplugged?
Both. I enjoy posting, staying in touch, and searching for adventures. But I like unplugging and being in the moment even more.

What’s a custom from another culture that you’d love to implement in your life back home?
From Europe: enjoying a long lunch in the afternoon, not rushed, perhaps a glass (or two) of wine, with family and friends—laughing and living simply but well.

What’s the first thing you seek out in a new place?
A GREAT HOTEL.

What’s the one thing you indulge in on a trip that you don’t at home?
I love dining on breakfast when I travel. It's one of life's great luxuries to savor those quiet moments and enjoy a great start to the day. 

What’s your first travel memory?
Traveling to Lake Tahoe with my family. The kids are piled in the back of the station wagon, and we're off to go skiing in the mountains! Magical. And these days I truly appreciate what my parents did for us almost every weekend! 

A family trip to Lake Tahoe is Harmon's earliest travel memory.