I’m Keith Jenkins and I’m based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. For a decade I had a very successful career in corporate and investment banking. Like many, despite my success, my career had begun to feel empty. Through circumstances I was able to leave and take time for myself, never anticipating that the collapse of the financial sector in 2008 would end my chosen career.
Not one to allow circumstances to get me down for long, I have created an entirely new career for myself, following my passions for travel and writing in a way that I’d never realised was possible before. I wrote about my transition in my (free) ebook ‘Travelations‘ and spoke about it at my TEDxTalk titled “Passion. Empowerment. Social Media” in November 2012.
‘Velvet‘ is the context I’ve chosen for my new ventures: soft, plush, rich …some would say sexy. When you run your hand over velvet you know there is a certain depth and richness to it; you know you are alive.
In December 2008, I launched the Velvet Escape luxury travel blog. My aim with this blog is to convey my enthusiasm about the places I’ve visited through my experiences and photography. I hope to inspire people to travel, to stimulate their curiosity about the world we live in and foster an open mind that is receptive to different perspectives and new ideas. And to do all that in style! In this sense, Velvet Escape is a luxury travel blog but it goes beyond staying in five-star hotels or eating in Michelin-star restaurants. To me, it’s about the experience and what we gain from it. This is my definition of luxury travel.
Velvet Escape has since become a multiple award-winning travel blog and has been featured by the likes of The New York Times, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet and National Geographic Traveler. Please see the Media page for a full list of awards, interviews and media mentions.
Travel and me
Travel is my biggest passion and I’ve visited 80-odd countries (and counting) across six continents. To me, travel is an opportunity to unwind, enjoy a different rhythm and to explore new places and cultures. It is also about meeting the locals and fellow travellers, and sharing views, ideas and experiences. For me, travel is a never-ending source of adventure and inspiration.
Preparing for a trip is the start of any travel adventure. I enjoy researching my destination before my departure as well as searching for great hotels. I’m a a big fan of boutique and design hotels, and spas, but also of charming B&Bs and family establishments. In addition, cuisine is always an essential element of my travel experience and I love exploring a place to seek out the good eateries. I’m also a wine enthusiast who is always on the look out for great wines, especially on my visits to wine producing regions.
In this sense, Velvet Escape is about getting away from our daily routines & exploring, being adventurous, reflecting & doing it in style.
Go explore. Experience. And be inspired.
Beyond Velvet Escape
Since launching the Velvet Escape luxury travel blog, I’ve branched out into a variety of activities including speaking at tourism and travel blogging conferences (such as the keynote at ITB Berlin in 2012), participating in tourism forums (World Travel Monitor – Pisa Round Table) and providing blogging and social media consultancy services to tourism boards and brands via my iambassador brand (clients include the Canadian Tourism Commission, Mövenpick Hotels, Jordan Tourism Board, South African Tourism, German National Tourist Board, Emilia Romagna Tourism, Cathay Pacific Airways, Visit Britain and Spain National Tourist Board). My highlight of 2012 was speaking at a TEDxTalk about Passion, Empowerment and Social Media.
In 2014, iambassador organised its first ever travel blogger conference, The Social Travel Summit, in Leipzig, Germany. This ground-breaking conference brought 120 top travel bloggers and industry representatives from around the world to the city of Leipzig for two days of insightful keynotes, discussions and networking.
View my LinkedIn profile for more information.
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