According to Geoffrey Kent, “travel teaches us as much about ourselves as it does about the world.” We couldn’t agree more. The globetrotting entrepreneur, who spends most of his time in search of new destinations and itineraries for his luxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent, shares his travel philosophy with AFAR.
Let’s play spin the globe—name the one place you’ve always wanted to go.
The Palau archipelago [in Micronesia] is on the top of my list. I’ve always wanted to go diving in the lake with millions of jellyfish that don’t sting. I’ve planned one of my Inspiring Expeditions there in November, where we recreate one of Jacques Cousteau’s famous dives.
What’s your spirit city? (Where do you want to return to over and over?)
Monte Carlo, Monaco, where I live now.
Do you have a travel ritual?
Check my briefcase to make sure I have my iPhone, Blackberry, passport, and a selection of different currencies.
Do you maintain any routines from home while traveling or does it all go out the window?
I travel 250 to 300 days a year looking for new adventures for our guests. When I can, I play tennis and enjoy a run to clear my head. But you have to make exercise a daily part of your routine. I use my briefcase in place of weights if there is not a proper gym.
Sorry, you only get to eat one regional cuisine for the rest of your life. What is it?
What one piece of advice would you give to someone traveling abroad for the first time?
Travel teaches us as much about ourselves as it does about the world.
Describe your travel personality in three words.
Adventurous, active, passionate.
Are your trips very planned, or very spontaneous?
Well planned but with time built in to enjoy opportunities as they present themselves. Always keep yourself open to unscheduled possibilities.
What’s the one travel souvenir you’d save in a fire?
My Louis Vuitton briefcase. It’s a President Classeur from 1972 that’s been all over the world with me. That’s what I use as a substitute for weights and do exercises in my tent, and I’ve even used it to support a jack when I got a flat tire in Tanzania.
What book/movie most inspired you to travel?
The stories I heard from my mother and father when I was a child. The best book was West with the Night by Beryl Markham. Her stories of growing up in East Africa spoke to me, as did her pioneering spirit. I can only hope my memoir, Safari, will likewise inspire others to travel.
Who’s your ideal travel partner?
My wife, Otavia, who is as active as I am.
Which travel experience do you prefer: plugged in or unplugged?
I prefer to be unplugged, but when you are running a business, that’s not always possible.
What’s a custom from another culture that you’d love to implement in your life back home?
On safari, we always stop to enjoy a cold drink as the sun is setting. We call them sundowners.
What’s the first thing you seek out in a new place?
What’s the one thing you indulge in on a trip that you don’t at home?
New York Sirloin Steak. I tend to eat very carefully when I travel. I always have fruit for breakfast, usually papaya and a slice of lime because it’s good for your digestion. And I eat very sparingly at lunch, usually just a salad. But at dinner, I tend to spoil myself because I’m very sociable. I like to talk and tell stories over a good bottle of wine.
What’s your first travel memory?
Driving a Land Rover at age six with pillows behind my back.