Crafting Richer Travel Stories: An interview with Philippe Brown

March 17, 2014 by Kyomi Wade

Philippe Brown founder of Brown and Hudson London based bespoke travel company

The Brown + Hudson team works tirelessly - exploring each corner of the world, researching and speaking to the right people in order to craft truly bespoke and entirely unique richer travel stories for our discerning clients. From a helicopter safari over East Africa, cycling experiences around Jerusalem, culinary adventures through Vietnam and even visits to Sudan, we ensure every request, every journey and every detail you dare to dream about, can indeed become a reality.  What lies behind all of this, is a dedicated vision to make it all happen. Speaking with Founder Philippe Brown, we discover just what that vision is and how he and the team set out to create the true essence of Brown + Hudson.

What drew you to travel in the first place?

A trip I took in 1994 prompted me to leave the business of advertising fast food and dive into the world of travelling (often for slow food). It prompted me to eat the cake first and live for the moment. I’ve been doing that, and helping others to do that ever since. The individual motivations and backgrounds of our team in London and our guides around the planet differ greatly. But we are all a rather curious and restless bunch who like to be on the go, who cherish discovery and connecting with people. Some of us are into sports and discover the world on foot or by bike; some are cultural hounds with degrees in history or art, and others love nothing more than nature. Travel connects the dots for all of us; it’s a way of reacting to the world, a commitment to immerse yourself fully in every experience, to broaden your understanding of places and people around you. That’s why we’ll never stay still. How awful it would be to live a stationary life!

Are any places off limits?

We wouldn’t consider any requests too outlandish: the bigger the better. Anything is possible (as long as it’s within our ethical standards). Recently some clients showed an interest in travelling to Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor, so we went there and researched it. Others have recently expressed an interest to cycle on the ice in Antarctica, and we will make it happen. Of course we take our clients’ safety very seriously. We bear foreign office advisories in mind and then look at the reality of the local situation. If in any doubt we involve political and security risk professionals for another perspective on levels of risk in any destination. We inform our clients accordingly, but the decision is always theirs. Naturally, we will not carry out any journeys where we are not comfortable with regard to our clients’ (and our staff’s) safety.

What’s been your dream experience?

That’s the nature of travel, isn’t it? You have to keep chasing the dream. While we’ve all had the good fortune of having traveled a great deal, our dream experience will always be out there, waiting in our imagination for the right moment, or perhaps the right client…