What makes your blog unique versus others?
At the time I started it (in 2005), it was unique because it was a luxury travel blog and all the other travel blogs out there were mostly run by backpackers traveling on a budget. Now there’s a glut of luxury travel blogs out there, so it’s USP nowadays is probably that it’s the most established luxury travel blog out there, with over 6.000 posts and more than 400 authors. It’s widely recognized as one of the most influential travel blogs in the world and has been voted “one of the best travel blogs in the world” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph. It’s difficult to be unique nowadays with so many thousands (quite literally!) of travel blogs out there so perhaps its uniqueness lies in its level of reach and influence.
Why did you open your blog? What are your targets with it?
The blog started as a hobby and personal interest, although my line of work at the time was in online marketing for the tourist industry. It has since seen huge growth and I took a leap of faith with it in 2012, dropping my other work commitments. I haven’t looked back and now my aim is to continue with it as my full time job.
What was your most memorable travel experience?
Our honeymoon in Tanzania. We went on a luxury safari in the Serengeti, Manyara and Ngorongoro, before then heading to Mnemba Island off Zanzibar for a few days of R&R.
What is your preferred city and why?
Barcelona, Florence and Cape Town. I’m not a huge city person as I enjoy the countryside, but these are all cities that I enjoy, have an abundance of places of interest and have a relaxed feel about them.
Where would you dream to travel to?
Iceland and New Zealand are high on my wish list.
What are your travel plans for 2015?
I am already back from my first trip of the year (London) and will be heading out to Japan and Singapore in a week’s time, with a number of other yet-to-be-confirmed trips in the pipeline after that.
What was your best hotel experience and why?
I have been fortunate enough to stay at so many wonderful hotels all over the world. It’s hard to pick a best but if I had to pick just one, I suppose Badrutt’s Palace in St. Moritz would have to be ‘up there’.
What was your best restaurant experience and why?
Again, I’ve been lucky to eat at many top restaurants and it’s difficult to pick just one. Perhaps my most memorable dining experience was at an exclusive camp in the Manyara National Park. We were in a remote location and yet the quality of food was second to none.
Which travels modified your vision of life and your behavior?
When I went to Morocco for the first time back in 1989, that gave me a very different outlook on the world. It was the first time I’d been out of my comfort zone within Europe.
What are the 5 objects you always bring with you while traveling?
My passport, iPhone, my DSLR, my laptop… and money!
How do you select your travel destinations?
Because my travel is my work, my destinations are often dependent upon approaches I receive from airlines, DMOs, tourist boards and accommodation providers, combined with areas of personal interest.