This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Prior Knowledge Travel

Travel

Waaaaay back in 2012, when this blog was but 18 months old, I interviewed Brisbane-born, US-based food and travel editor David Prior. He’s one of smartest people I’ve ever met.

Today we introduce David’s newest offering. Prior Knowledge Travel is a membership-based ‘travel society’ – a luxury service with a not-for-profit arm, focusing on truly unique travel experiences that highlight and preserve culture, rather than exploit it.

Membership for Prior Knowledge is by invitation – register your interest here!

26th October, 2017

Maheshwar. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Devil Ghar, Udaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Flower market, Jaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

City Palace, Udaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

City Palace, Jaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Amber Fort, Jaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Gem Palace, Jaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Girls near the Nagda Temple Sahastra Baahu, Udaipur. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

At Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Taken at Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Man and camel, Mandu. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Members of the first trip in Mandu. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Shepherd girl in Mandu. Photo – Gentl + Hyers Photography.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 26th October 2017

‘We need to travel now more than ever’ – David Prior.

After cutting his teeth working for revered culinary icon Alice Waters, over the past decade, David Prior has travelled the globe relentlessly. As a writer and editor, he has produced travel feature stories in every continent, for titles such as Condé Nast Traveler, New York Times and Vogue Living and so. many. more.

David doesn’t skim the surface – he gets amongst it.  In any new region, he starts by patiently walking the streets, quietly confident that the city’s secrets will reveal themselves.  And sure enough, by some mysterious innate talent, in every new city he manages to uncover the most interesting people and unique stories, allowing for rich, authentic editorial content produced the old fashioned way – by pounding the pavement in earnest.

Early next year, David will put these skills to good use – with the launch of a truly unique new project in the travel design arena. ‘I’ve been waiting for years for the right moment to do something on my own’ David explains. ‘The timing was never right, but most importantly I didn’t feel entirely ready.  I am now.’ We believe it!

Prior Knowledge Travel is a membership-based ‘travel society’ that will launch alongside a not-for-profit arm, with a focus on highlighting and preserving culture, rather than trampling on it.

The idea had rolled around in David’s head for some time, before finally coming to fruition this year. ‘What would it be to make my editorial stories truly come to life, by designing experiences for people and having them take part in moments that are so rare and often inaccessible without the right context or contacts?’ he wondered.

So, he created a truly once-in-a-lifetime trip in India – a ‘test trip’ of sorts. Over twenty-three days, David’s group  took over entire small hotels, where he styled the rooms, arranged special sittings with artists and artisans, designed menus, erected pink tents on lawns surrounded by peacocks in Jaipur, and sent one thousand candles down the Narmada river! ‘ These are the sorts of moments that I have always created for shoots, but it was another thing all together to ‘design the experience’ for people in real time and real life’ David admits.  Luckily for us, he took Gentl + Hyers  Photography along, capturing over 1,000 of the most incredible images documenting this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Of course, it was huge success. David has since funded a full roll-out of this ambitious venture, with the support of his dream partner, Overture Holdings (of Noma fame). ‘Overture shared my view on where luxury travel is headed – and that is to get beneath the surface of a place, to celebrate what is endemic and elevate that to the next level, to provide access and real discernment when everything is Googleable but also bamboozling’ he explains (it’s so hard to edit his words, because David is so damn quotable!). Next year the project will launch in earnest, with three tours scheduled in early 2018.  (full details on those itineraries are here).

‘I believe there’s a version of virtuous globalization we can shape, where we don’t destroy culture and beauty, but support it’ David explains. A percentage of the company’s revenue will facilitate local micro-grants in the regions his tours visit.

Meanwhile, the travel design component will curate individual and group itineraries that focus on culture and truly ‘ungoogleable’ (!!) experiences, providing access to special one-off experiences and meetings with artisans, academics, and even royalty!

‘There’s something to be said about 10 years on the road…’ David muses, philosophically. ‘I have an intimate knowledge of countless destinations around the world, and a network that has allowed me to create cover-story moments in so many of my favorite countries. To be able to now provide that same access and design those moments to curious travelers is really a thrilling thing for me. We need to travel now more than ever.’

Membership for Prior Knowledge is by invitation – register your interest now.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Travel

Daylesford and Surrounds with Paul Bangay

A garden lover’s tour across the Hepburn Shire, at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria.
Paul Bangay

Travel

Macedon Ranges with Elizabeth Barnett

The artist and local resident shares her itinerary for the perfect day trip in Macedon, just one-hour from Melbourne.
Elizabeth Barnett

Travel

Tasmania’s Derwent Valley with Rodney Dunn

The farm-to-table cooking school chef takes us on a tour of Lachlan and nearby New Norfolk, in the state's south-east.
Rodney Dunn

This Week

Designers At Home

At Home With Architect Shin Kil + Visual Merchandiser Jessie Choi

The minimalist Fitzroy apartment of architect Shin Kil and visual merchandiser Jessie Choi, featuring the sleek Samsung The Serif TV.

On The Market

Victorian Charm Meets Dramatic Modern Luxury In This Princes Hill Home For Sale

Featuring so many modern, custom made elements, every room in this house has its own distinct personality!
Sally Tabart
  7 hours ago

News

The Ultimate Tap For A Minimalist Kitchen

New additions to Phoenix’s award-winning Axia line expand the modern minimalist collection to sleek new heights!
Sponsored

Shopping

11 Curated, Independent Homewares Stores We're Obsessed With!

The gifting season is upon us, but these local stores have an impeccable selection of items all year round!
Sasha Gattermayr
  15 hours ago

Architecture

A Breathtaking Coastal Home On The Tasmanian Shoreline

This serene holiday home by Tanner Architects makes the most of its rugged Tasmanian outlook.
1.34

One Room Wonders

A Classic, Colourful Kids Room Transformation

We transform a simple baby's bedroom, with Surround by Laminex wall panelling, and a playful injection of colour, pattern and texture!

Architecture

A Flood-Proof Transformation Of A 1960s Brisbane Home

Lineburg Wang saved a 1960s Paddington, Brisbane home from future flood damage, and added an inspired indoor-outdoor extension.

Homes

A Perfectly Personalised Art Deco Rental

The colourful, art deco South Yarra apartment of Skinny Wolf owner and florist Leila Sanderson, and sound engineer Tony Espie.

Shopping

Shop Local At This Fabulous Pop-Up, By Four Of Our Favourite Creatives

Hattie Molloy, Sunday Salon, Curio Practice and Nicole Lawrence Studio come together for a month-long retail residency in Fitzroy. Retail is...

Podcast

Cormach Evans On Creating Space For Aboriginal Excellence, On TDF Talks

In our podcast season finale, Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans talks to host Lucy Feagins about the two organisations he founded and directs: S...

Modernist Australia

A Pristine Mid-Century Family Home Buried In Greenery

A North Balwyn home designed by architect Alan Nance and built in 1957 is on the market, and it's amazing!
Trish Callan

Interiors

Summer 2022 Colour Trend Predictions + WIN Dulux Paint & A Rachel Castle Artwork!

Get inspired by these vibrant and joyous Dulux paint colours set to take over home interiors this summer. Plus, your chance to win 20 litres...

News

These Hand Painted Ceramics Celebrate The Soft Power Of Women

Femme Fantasy is the new 22-piece collaborative collection of painted, ceramic vessels from artist Marisa Mu and ceramicist Alicia McVilly.

On The Market

A Chic Family Home In The Heart Of Fitzroy Is For Sale!

A unique renovated home with crazy paving, double height ceilings and a north-facing backyard in the most tightly held pocket of Fitzroy.

Shopping

Greenhouse Interiors Have Transformed This Heritage Warehouse Into A Fully Shoppable Interiors Mega Space!

Julia Green’s latest venture is her most ambitious yet - a completely shoppable interior project spanning 600 square metres and two floors...

Similar Stories

Travel

Daylesford and Surrounds with Paul Bangay

A garden lover’s tour across the Hepburn Shire, at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria.
Paul Bangay

Travel

Macedon Ranges with Elizabeth Barnett

The artist and local resident shares her itinerary for the perfect day trip in Macedon, just one-hour from Melbourne.
Elizabeth Barnett

Travel

Tasmania’s Derwent Valley with Rodney Dunn

The farm-to-table cooking school chef takes us on a tour of Lachlan and nearby New Norfolk, in the state's south-east.
Rodney Dunn

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.