Tom developed a severe case of wanderlust as a teenager and after years as a journalist and inveterate traveller he and two equally travel obsessed friends founded Original Travel in 2003. In the intervening years Tom has chalked up an enviable number of destinations around the world and the company has gone on to win a number of awards, including Best Tour Operator at the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards on multiple occasions. Tom is also travel writing again as Travel Editor for leading men’s magazine Esquire.
More than two decades of visiting the world’s most intriguing and beautiful places (His favourites? Since you ask – Oman, Sri Lanka, Iran and Guatemala) has turned Tom into a serious luggage cognoscente (read: suitcase snob) and consequently a devotee of Chapman Bags. ‘I’m seriously honoured to be a brand ambassador,’ says Tom ‘because Chapman luggage stands the test of time, looks great – and greater with age – and is, of course, British-made, which is the icing on a rather delectable cake.’
‘I’m very particular about the bag I take on research trips and holidays because every destination requires something different – you can’t beat the Traveller as a ruggedly reliable bit of kit that will handle being bounced around in a 4×4 or squeezed into the hold of a light aircraft on a flying safari in Namibia when you can’t bring a hard sided bag . On the other hand, if you’re trekking through primary rainforest in Costa Rica – one of the most biodiverse places on the planet – to photograph the country’s amazing flora and fauna, you want a more compact bag like the Explorer 14 in olive green to blend into the jungle surroundings. Chapman even made me some padded inserts so I could carry my camera equipment safely.’
As a born and bred Londoner with the fervour of the country convert, Tom now lives in the heart of partridge country in deepest darkest Norfolk, with a secret wild chalk stream full of lively brown trout at the end of the garden. ‘The perfect excuse to stock up on more Chapman Bags!’
See Tom’s amazing Original Travel site at www.originaltravel.co.uk