velvet | cultural holidays

Cool street art in Rio

Rio de Janeiro is best known for its spectacular setting, glorious beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana, the Sugarloaf Mountain, the iconic Christ Statue and the samba, but as you explore the city, one other thing will certainly grab your attention: the city’s stunning street art. I didn’t see much of it during my first trip […]

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Ten European city break ideas

It’s a new year and with it, hopefully lots of new travels, inspiration and joy! I was chatting with a few friends of mine several weeks ago and they asked me for some European city break ideas for 2016. That got me thinking of the cities I’d visited in the past year or two and […]

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Home in Amsterdam.

2015: my year of travel in Instagrams

Another year comes to an end and a fresh new year begins. 2015 was yet another tumultuous year, marked by horrific events. What with terrorist attacks around the world, the refugee crisis and man-made/natural disasters, it was sometimes hard to stay positive. Despite the somber mood, 2015 was, for me, an amazing year with many […]

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Medieval fun at the Terra de Trobadors festival

Anyone who knows me well knows this: fancy-dress parties aren’t my ‘thing’. I just don’t care too much about dressing up for the fun of it I guess, and I’m pretty sure the fear of looking silly has something to do with it as well. Haha! That said, I often find myself in situations during […]

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Close-up of grains of sand from St. Gilles in La Réunion.

The diversity of the Indian Ocean islands

The Indian Ocean is home to some of the most spectacular islands in the world. From the Maldives archipelago just off the Indian sub-continent to the large island of Madagascar off the coast of Eastern Africa and the islands of Mauritius, Seychelles and La Réunion in between, these islands are beautiful gems in a vast […]

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Exploring Malacca

Malacca (or ‘Melaka’) is the oldest town in Malaysia and one of the country’s major historic attractions. Malacca (map) can trace its roots back to the 15th century when it was founded by a prince from Temasek (present day Singapore). The settlement grew very quickly due to its favourable geographic location at one of the […]

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My first ever solo trip, at age 14, from Sydney to Melbourne. This photo was taken in Canberra.

My favourite travel memories

I was bitten by the travel bug at a very young age. My first overseas trip was at age 7 (to Hong Kong) and the tally now stands at 85 countries across six continents. That equals quite a few terabytes of memory I guess! The breadth and depth of the travel memories I’ve amassed through […]

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Ten things to do in Riga

Riga (map) is the capital city of Latvia, one of the three Baltic nations in northern Europe. Situated on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava River, Riga can trace its roots back to the 2nd century A.D. when it was settled by the Livs, an ancient Finnish tribe. It quickly grew […]

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Five ways to get active in Costa Brava

Costa Brava (map), the land of Salvador Dalí, picturesque medieval towns, gorgeous beaches and some of the best cuisine in the world, is a paradise for those seeking sun, sea, culture, history and gastronomy. Any visitor will soon discover the amazing cuisine and wines – there are many people who come here simply to have […]

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Art Nouveau architecture in Riga

It was my first visit to Latvia and to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I did some research beforehand and learned that the historic centre of Riga, the capital city, was accorded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997, primarily due to its historic architecture. I dug a bit more and learned […]

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