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Florean Smout

Senior Travel Specialist

About Florean

I've had the pleasure of exploring many countries, but it was my first "true adventure" that really deepened my understanding and appreciation of travel. Instead of opting for a traditional gap year, I decided to jump aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express, an iconic 4,735-mile train journey from Moscow to Beijing. En route we disembarked in Ulaanbaatar, then navigated dirt track roads into the Mongolian countryside where we lent our support to a local primary school.

The experience opened my eyes to the incredible diversity of cultures and landscapes across six time zones. From purchasing homemade goods (most of the time unsure of what it was) from Russian vendors at the stations along the way, to the vastness of the Gobi Desert, and witnessing the hypnotising Mongolian traditional art of Khöömei (throat singing) to nights spent beneath the clearest star-filled skies I've ever seen, every moment was simply perfect.

What I cherish most about travel is the sense of adventure it brings, the insights into other cultures and people, the peace I find in nature's landscapes, and the opportunity for personal reflection. Working in the travel industry offers me a platform to share my passion and inspire others to embrace the endless beauty our world has to offer and learn from and be inspired by my guests’ experiences in return.  


Talking points

What's your favourite destination?

I have a lot of favourites as each destination is unique. If I must choose, Kenya has it all, from stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife to vibrant culture and warm hospitality. It has a very special place in my heart. 

Which destination is top of your bucket list, and why?

Count me in for the Abercrombie & Kent Luxury Expedition Arctic Cruise. It's the ultimate combination of wildlife encounters, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural immersion, whilst experiencing extreme remoteness. You’ll find me with a pair of binos on constant polar bear patrol.

Which five items do you always pack when travelling?

The practical trifecta: passport, wallet and my mobile phone which doubles as camera. Noise cancelling headphones and sunglasses are a must, too.

What's your top travel tip?

Savour the small and spontaneous moments: follow your nose to the artisanal bakery around the corner (and yes, you should most definitely get that second pastry!), learn a few words and phrases to connect with locals, or simply enjoy a moment to take in the changing colours of the sunset. These small moments can be just as meaningful as major attractions.