velvet | people we meet

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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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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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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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 nation of big smiles

It’s a nation of big smiles. It’s one of many reasons why South Africa has a special place in my heart: the spectacular nature, melting pot of cultures, amazing food and wines, and yes, the big smiles! This video, produced by Caspar Diederik, shows us what it’s like to Meet South Africa, and experience its […]

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Stephan telling us about the history of the building (image courtesy of @ThePlanetD)

Travel like a local with locals

In the past ten months, I’ve travelled to Madrid, Marrakech, Marseille, Avignon, Berlin and Montréal as part of the HouseTrip diplomat programme to explore these destinations and stay at HouseTrip holiday rentals. The experiences, from searching for the best bouillabaisse in Marseille to uncovering exotic chic in Marrakech, have been rich and lots of fun, […]

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Inflight screens (image courtesy of Doug).

Is plane talk dying? Readers views

Two weeks ago, I published a post titled “Is Plane Talk Dying?” in which I asked if we, as travellers, are becoming less social on planes. This post sparked a fascinating discussion and many readers contributed their views both on this blog as well as via social media. A week later, this post was re-published […]

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In cathay Pacific's Business Class cabin, screen separate each passenger.

Is plane talk dying?

“I don’t talk to people on planes anymore. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with someone sitting next to me on a plane”, I said to Melvin as we stood on the plane-spotters deck next to one of Frankfurt Airport’s runways. Another 747 rumbled past as I dwelled […]

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Me at the top of the Corcovado mountain.

Six months of travel and a little break

The first six months of 2013 have proven to be just as eventful as the same period last year. 2013 kicked off in a quiet way – I spent most of the winter months at home in Amsterdam, and what a winter it was! Not only was it excruciatingly cold, it seemed to last forever […]

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Discovering the magic of South Africa in Parys

It was our third day in South Africa and we were on our way from Pilanesberg National Park to Parys, a small town southwest of Johannesberg. Parys is Afrikaans for Paris. “I bet it even has its own Eiffel Tower”, I joked. To my surprise, Kate, our South Africa Tourism host, turned around and said, “yes, […]

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