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Sant Narcis Festival (image courtesy of Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona).

A tower of strength, unity and balance

I’ve seen them perform on several occasions and I would quiver as these brave souls climbed atop each other to build human towers, often exceeding 7-8 levels high! It’s an impressive show of strength, teamwork, balance and most of all, courage, but I often wondered what motivated them to go to such extraordinary lengths to […]

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rituals-royal-palace-ubud-photo

How to be a better, more responsible tourist

This little story in the news caught my eye recently: a tourist was arrested in Myanmar for pulling the plug of an amplifier that was broadcasting a monk’s sermon because it was disturbing his sleep. It’s something that we’re sadly seeing more of each year: tourists being disrespectful to people, local customs, traditions and rules, […]

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Sunset at Seminyak beach.

Celebrating a Lifetime of Friendship – The Bestie Getaway

Allan and Eugene. They’re the best and closest friends I have. We met when we were six-years-old; we lived in the same neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur and attended the same school. Our friendship grew as we had lots in common and we shared countless precious moments together: joy and laughter, family tribulations and our own […]

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Cheers to all my friends!!

A celebration of friendships

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. – Hubert H. Humphrey I truly have. I feel really blessed when I think of the many friends I have, like my childhood friends, Allan and Eugene, whom I grew up with. Though we live in three different corners of the world, our […]

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massimo-casali-photo

A passion for Lambrusco

Travel is an endless source of inspiration (and wisdom) and I find nothing more inspiring than meeting people during my travels who are so passionate about what they do. On my recent trip to Reggio Emilia [map], I had the opportunity to meet a crowd of people who share one passion: Lambrusco. For those of […]

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Belmond

Luxury Myanmar river cruise – and the art of giving back

I met Janice and George Mucalov, two travel writers, on an Alaska cruise in 2011 and we’ve stayed in touch ever since, following each other’s travels via social media. Janice, George and I enjoy travelling in the same manner, i.e. comfortably, or rather… the ‘velvet’ way, so when Janice approached me with an idea for […]

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A note left at the MH17 memorial at Schiphol Airport.

My thoughts on MH17

“Keith, wake up!” I opened my eyes and looked around in a daze. My partner broke the news to me: a Malaysia Airlines plane en-route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had been downed in eastern Ukraine, presumably by a missile. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was this a bad dream? I reached out […]

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happynewyear

A new dawn, a new day, a new year!

And, I’m feelin’ soooooo good! 🙂 As I welcome the first dawn of the new year, I can’t help but look back at 2013. It was an amazing year for me in many respects. 30-odd trips across six continents, visiting the most extraordinary places, meeting inspiring people, making new friends, speaking at events around the […]

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Christmas greetings

Seasons greetings from Velvet Escape

Here’s wishing all my readers a lovely festive season and a happy, healthy and safe 2014! I’m grateful to have had a fulfilling year with lots of wonderful travel experiences, good health and time with my loved ones and friends around the world. A special thank you goes to you, my readers, family and friends, […]

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feeding-kangaroos-photo

My first ever solo road trip! Part Two

This is the second of a two-part series about my solo road trip around Victoria, Australia. Read Part One (if you haven’t already). Mingling with the local wildlife I left Daylesford Springs for the 45-minute drive to Ballarat, a town famous as the ‘Gateway to Victoria’s Goldfields’. It was a lovely drive past verdant, undulating […]

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