velvet | Nature Holidays
inhotim-kaleidoscope-view-photo

Inhotim – where art meets nature

“What’s this Imhotep place about?”, I asked my good friends Claudia and Mauricio as we left Belo Horizonte on our road trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Claudia laughed and corrected me: “It’s Inhotim! And it’s a botanical garden and modern art museum in one”. I was intrigued. I enjoy strolls around botanical gardens and […]

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ratscher-landhaus-photo

A gorgeous wine region you should know about

I’ve visited many wine regions around the world, from the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia to Stellenbosch in South Africa, and Tuscany in Italy to the Napa Valley in California. One wine region I recently visited turned out to be a wonderful surprise: South Styria in the southeastern corner of Austria, about a two-hour drive […]

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wolfgang-maitz-vineyard-scenery-photo

Discovering the South Styrian Wine Road

South Styria. To be honest, I’d never heard of this region before until my recent trip to Austria. Situated about a two-hour drive southwest of Vienna and less than an hour from Graz, South Styria is a gorgeous region with green rolling hills, mile after mile of vineyards, picturesque villages, wine taverns and lovely, family-owned […]

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puente-san-martin-bridge-toledo-photo

Five reasons to visit Castilla-La Mancha

Mention ‘Toledo, Spain’ to anyone you know and you might get a response. Mention ‘Castilla-La Mancha‘ and chances are, you’ll receive a blank look and a shrug of the shoulders. At least, that was my response when I first saw the name. Hehe! I’d been to Toledo before; an unforgettable road trip from Barcelona to […]

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church-grins-mountains-photo

A schnaps adventure in Tirol

I have to admit… I’ve never been a big fan of schnaps. This clear brandy distilled from fermented fruits has a high alcohol content and the varieties I tasted in the past were simply mind-blowing, throat-burning strong with little flavour. That perception was radically altered after an extraordinary schnaps tour in Tirol, Austria! A fun-filled […]

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keith-lech-zuers-photo

The art of rejuvenation in Vorarlberg

I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths. Each time I exhaled, I gradually started picking up noises which I hadn’t noticed previously: the soft rustling of leaves in the trees and the faint sound of a cow moo-ing in the far distance. What struck me most was the overbearing sound of silence – […]

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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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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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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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kuksu-muiza-manor-latvia-photo

A jaunt into the Latvian countryside

I looked out the window as the plane approached the international airport of Riga. It was a beautiful, cloudless day and the Baltic Sea sparkled in the afternoon sun. The Latvian coast soon came into view and the first thing that caught my attention were the endless white, sandy beaches. Beyond that, were mile after […]

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