A Letter from the President

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Ker & Downey is made up of dozens of unique individuals who each bring value and different perspectives to our company. The one thing that ties us all together is our passion for travel and adventure. We believe that the best way to learn about a destination is through on-the-ground experiences. That’s why in 2017 alone, our luxury travel experts spent a combined 273 nights abroad in 27 different countries, gathering knowledge and furthering their expertise on their destinations. 

In this issue of Quest Magazine, they are sharing stories from their travels: Nicole Porto sampled Malta’s culinary scene; Catherine Brown went west in search of North America’s unique wildlife; Lisa Sun curated a guide for visiting the high-altitude desert of Ladakh, India; and, Nicky Brandon returned to her roots to retrace her childhood safaris in Tanzania. Contributor and photographer Austin Mann headed to Antarctica with his wife Esther Havens Mann for a truly adventurous honeymoon and kept a stunning travel diary.

You’ll also read about the safari properties giving Mother Nature a helping hand with their conservation projects. On a sad note, one of these iconic pioneers, Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, experienced a loss that was, in fact, a monumental loss for the planet. On March 19, 2018, 45-year-old Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on earth, was put to sleep in order to avoid prolonging his suffering from age-related complications. 

Ker & Downey’s Michelle Nicholson had a chance to see him on her trip to Kenya in February. “On the one hand it is such an emotional experience to know I have witnessed an extinction of a species,” she says. “On the other, it was an honor to have met him.”

 Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino

Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino

Hopes for preserving the species via the two remaining females (Sudan’s daughter and granddaughter) now depend on developing, scientific technologies. We’re not giving up hope and neither should you. There’s never been a better time to get involved in conservation and traveling has the power to help.

And in the spirit of adventure and chasing the changing horizon, my wife and I are preparing to head to Egypt and Jordan with a group of friends in a few weeks. I look forward to sharing that adventure with you. 

What horizon will you encounter this year? 

Let us know by emailing: luxury@kerdowney.com

David Marek

President