"The reason I went into the long-haul travel market was because I love travelling. After leaving college in 1982 I went off on a 19-month trip around the world."

Jerry left from London on the infamous Magic Bus to Athens and then took a flight to Cairo. "I then went to Qatar where my eldest brother Julian was then living. Then I flew to Karachi and basically made my way overland to Burma, Bangladesh and Thailand."

Another brother, Viv, had also been travelling in South-East Asia. "We'd been sending postcards to and from the various poste restantes to keep in touch and had arranged to meet in Bangkok - but when I got to the post office there he'd left a postcard saying he'd changed plans and gone to the island of Ko Samui. So I thought I'd leave a note on another piece of mail waiting for him saying if we miss each other in Ko Samui, we should meet back at PV Guest House in Khao San Road in Bangkok in three days time.

"So off I went and sure enough I met up with Viv in Ko Samui. I hadn't seen him for six months. A couple of days later we were walking along the beach when suddenly coming towards us was an apparition - our other brother, Adrian. Neither of us knew he was going to be there and we just couldn't believe it. Knowing that we were meeting in Thailand, he had decided spontaneously to come over and join us. He'd assumed we'd be in Bangkok, but on seeing the scribbled note on the letter in the poste restante had known to head down to Ko Samui. So there we all were: three bachelor brothers on a tropical paradise (at that time the island was barely discovered) in party mood. And party we did. To me it was the ultimate amazing story. I got to see all my brothers while I was away.

"I then went on to Australia where I spent eight months driving around the country with my friend, the explorer Chris Reeves, in a Holden HR station wagon nicknamed `Mr Roo'. We bought it in Perth for A$900 and sold it on our return, and 13,224 miles later, for A$650.

"I returned to England through Iran during the Iran/Iraq war. We were lucky enough to get a week's visa to visit. The locals were completely friendly and fed us caviar and took us waterskiing in the Caspian Sea."

On return, Jerry spent three years working his way up through the ranks of a large travel agency before deciding to try his hand at going it alone.

"My father was in the travel business for many years - he started the Bridge Group of travel companies. At his 80th birthday party I met a lot of his old business friends and thought, yeah, I can do this on my own. I, too, wanted to use the name Bridge in the title of the company, and after a few sessions down the local, I came up with the name Bridge the World. We have been going now for 10 years."

Bridge The World, 47 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AN (0171-911 0900).