Travel | Diary of a Somebody

Geoffrey Kent

The luxury travel chief reflects on a day of philanthropy – and tennis

Geoffrey Kent

September 07 2011
Geoffrey Kent

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I started the day with a visit to the gym, where I like to do some cardio and a few weights. I find that because I travel so much I do not always have time to eat as well as I would like, so a visit to the gym goes a long way in putting things right. Also, my wife started playing tennis a few years ago and we like to have a game once a week if we can. In London, we play at the Harbour Club and she is getting better and better so I need to be on my toes these days. Do I win? I am too much of a gentleman to say!

When I am in Monte Carlo I also play with a club pro who gives me a good workout, but hey, if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing. Lately he has had me practising varying my serve and has changed my grip slightly. Anyone who plays tennis or golf will understand when I say that when it goes right it is great but extremely frustrating when it doesn’t. Why should moving your hand around a tennis racket half an inch make so much difference?

I have always been sporty and at one point became really good at polo but an accident while playing in the mid-1990s that left me in a coma put paid to that.

After the gym I usually have a sauna or a steam and I find this gives me time to get my mind back to work and think about what the day holds.

Something that is close to my heart is A&K Philanthropy. This is a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat while also supporting indigenous communities.

I am director of A&K Philanthropy in the USA and after getting to the office I had some conference calls set up with the fantastic people who run these projects. At the last count we had 37 projects ongoing in 27 countries and we benefit tens of thousands of people each year – and this ranges from improving the health of a community, alleviating the effects of poverty, offsetting the effects of climate change to supporting grassroots projects.

Because of the time differences around the world these calls went on throughout the day, but it always cheers me up. For example, in Uganda, with the support of A&K Philanthropy the mortality rate for children under the age of five has been reduced by 50 per cent.

I think that it is important that we look after the world we live in. I am fortunate enough to have seen so many wonderful places, and I have also seen how they have changed. I feel that we all have a responsibility to look after the places we visit and the people who live there and at A&K we are committed to this.

I love Japanese food and for lunch I went to Yo Sushi where I will usually have salmon and chicken with some edamame beans.

My wife and I love going to the pictures and I wanted to go and see the new Planet of the Apes film but didn’t quite get round to it. I left the office early evening and met my wife for a game of tennis. Suffice to say that she was smiling more than me during the nice, quiet meal together afterwards. Once we got home I made a couple of calls and then called it a day.

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