A Letter from the President

We’re in this together.

At the end of August, a Category 4 hurricane stormed onto the Texas coast dropping tons of rain over much of the state. While Houston and Katy, where the Ker & Downey office is located, was spared from the heavy winds, we received record levels of rain that turned roadways into waterways and flooded many homes and buildings. We count ourselves fortunate. Most of our staff’s homes and our office were spared from the worst of the flooding. 

It’s times like these that you come to really appreciate your community. So many of you reached out to our staff to offer thoughts and prayers and ask how you could help. We are humbled and grateful for you. For years we have collected donations to assist with philanthropic and conservation efforts around the world, but now our efforts turn to our immediate neighbors. To help them rebuild, we are accepting donations through our nonprofit Manna from Heaven that will go directly towards rebuilding Houston and the surrounding areas, with absolutely none taken out for administrative costs. Let me rephrase that … absolutely 100% of your donation goes to those affected. As I sit in my office in Katy, Texas and look out my window, I see our neighbors' wet sheetrock, shelves, furnishings and valuables all sitting on the curb waiting to be taken away. Money received from you will be spent on rebuilding homes destroyed by the flood. That is my personal guarantee to you.

While Houston will most definitely rebuild, sometimes it’s harder for other places hit by natural disasters to do the same. Sometimes the best thing we can do for those places is to get out and travel. Tourism dollars boost economies around the world, especially those who were hard hit by natural disasters that depend on tourists to fuel their economy. It also helps fuel the economy of less-touristed areas. 

In this issue of QUEST Magazine, we are taking a look at some of those less-travelled destinations that are sure to be hot in 2018—places like Croatia, Tasmania, Jordan and the beautiful, biodiverse waterworld of the Coral Triangle. We also interviewed Corie Knights of WildAid about the positive impact their donors’ trips are making with partner conservation projects in east Africa. As a visual treat, we’re featuring two photo essays: one from travel photographer Austin Mann’s adventure in Alaska, and the other from our clients John and Renata Harbison’s trip to Namibia and Botswana. 

Throughout these inspiring travel stories, you can enjoy valuable tips, insights, expertise and favorite itineraries from our team of Luxury Travel Experts and our extended family of savvy insiders. A love of exploration and connection to people all over the world is what we all have in common, and we are happy to share these experiences with you.

Whether you are looking to see new destinations or travel to a trusted favorite, Ker & Downey is here to help you get there.

David Marek