GLOSS Issue 20 FEB 2015 - Page 44

When I set out to interview Sean Simmons, owner of Sean Simmons Travel and exclusive travel concierge to LBDGroup, there were two things that quickly became evident. The Road More Travelled: Sean Simmons and The Best Bucket List On Earth. Kate Matheson One: I am not the only person who is obsessed with detail when it comes to grammar and spelling, which made me possibly a little bit too happy; and two, there are two people three states apart who live at their desks, and may may I stress - sleep at them on occasion. Sean Simmons is, I have to confess, something of an oddity in terms of my experience with travel agents. I will cheerfully admit to not being a fan. Past experience has lead me to this conclusion, and funnily enough one said past experience was with his past employer. More on this later. However - I have never heard of a travel agent, let alone someone who owns the whole kit and caboodle - being at the helm at nine o’clock on a Friday night sorting out a tense and fairly horrible situation for a corporate client with no fuss, no drama, no ‘why me’ and quite likely no return for themselves. So what brought Sean to the formation of his own corporate travel agency, and why is it such a passion? And, more importantly... just how many countries has he visited, exactly? (Be prepared. It’s a lot). ‘I started at BA in London 1991, having had a past life as a chef ( I admit to a slight disagreement in the kitchen!). I fell into a temp job there, and was recognised as having a talent for international airfares, which is one of the hardest jobs in the travel industry. Strangely enough, at school I hated geography and maths was my worst subject – now I do it all day everyday. Within 4 months at BA I was a supervisor and trainer with 600 staff reporting to me. I absolutely loved it.’ I asked how many countries he had visited, whether on research or just for pleasure. I won’t repeat my remarks about the frequency of his visits to my favourite place in Bali. ‘It’s actually easier to say how many I HAVEN’T visited - at last count, it’s 30. I have seen all