Rock singer, writer and travel entrepreneur, Jonny Bealby has streetwise savvy and miles of travel under his belt. His experiences have given him the ideal background for setting up Wild Frontiers, the specialist award-winning tour operator which takes small groups and tailor-made clients to roads less travelled.
Having strutted the boards as a rock singer in the latter half of the 80s, Jonny ditched the music industry for the open road and set off on what turned out to be a decade of travels, through Africa and South and Central Asia which resulted in three highly acclaimed travel books, one TV film and Wild Frontiers. As a writer and traveller Jonny has visited more than 100 countries and, in addition to his books, has had articles featured in a variety of publications including the Daily Telegraph, The Times, Observer, The Guardian and Wanderlust. He has lectured to the Royal Geographical Society on a number of occasions in both London and Hong Kong. In 2002 he took his small sole-trader business, called Wild Frontiers (named after Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier), and expanded.
Taking the same approach to trips that served them so well in Pakistan – namely, ‘off the beaten track-meet the locals-get beneath the surface’ kind of tourism – business boomed. Jonny still leads the odd tour but mainly now focuses on running Wild Frontiers.
BEST TRAVEL MOMENTS
Q: Favourite city:
A: Udaipur, largely because as a traveller it doesn’t feel like a city, more like a gorgeous lakeside town.
Q: Favourite country:
A: India – although I love many places, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Argentina, Cambodia and Georgia being the first to come to mind, the sheer diversity of India means there’s a region for every mood. I simply couldn’t live without it.
Q: Favourite meal:
A: Argentinian steak and accompanying Malbec closely followed by anything Southeast Asian.
Q: Most memorable journey:
A: My motorbike adventure around Africa – you simply can’t beat that naïve feeling of hitting the road for the first time.
Q: Next on must-see list:
A: Papua New Guinea and off-beat Indonesia; they look amazing and would make great additions to the WF portfolio.