velvet | travel opinions

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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What makes an accommodation epic?

“What are you doing?”, my partner asked. “I’m working on a project with and I’m looking for an ‘epic’ accommodation”, I replied without looking up from my laptop screen. A few moments passed and then… “What’s ‘epic’?” That simple question stopped me in my tracks. Yes, what is epic? The Oxford Dictionary defines it, […]

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Me and my J-Pillow. Notice my happy face. ;-)

How to sleep well on a plane

Sleeping on a plane was never something I could do well. I could cope with the noise from the engines and the dry air in the cabin, and I would often take a mild sleeping pill on flights longer than ten hours, but even then, I would wake up each time my head tipped forward […]

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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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The thing with love locks

The drawbridge that crosses the Groenburgwal canal is one of my favourite spots in Amsterdam. I always make it a point to bring visiting friends to this bridge as the view of the canal and the Southern Church are absolutely gorgeous. Recently, I’ve begun to notice the appearance of love locks (or love padlocks) on […]

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How to Flylite

Ok, I’m standing at the gate with my carry-on bag, waiting to board my flight when an airline staff approaches me. After a quick check, I’m told that my bag is a tad too big and I have to check it in… and there’s a fee for that. I would then argue that I’ve used […]

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What makes a hotel exceptional

There are many great hotels around the world but there are some which are truly exceptional. I’ve had the privilege of staying in some of them (in the days when my investment banking job paid the bills! 🙂 ) and I’ve often pondered about what makes a great hotel exceptional. From my experience, it’s the […]

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Lessons I’ve learned from travel

Several weeks ago, I invited a group of travel bloggers and world travellers to describe the most important thing that travel has taught them. The result was a post, published last week, composed of little pearls of wisdom that will hopefully inspire people to travel and experience this grand world we live in. The success […]

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The most important thing that travel has taught me

I was talking to a friend who’d been on a six-month trip through Africa and I asked him about the most important thing he learned from that trip. Without any hesitation, he answered, “That trip taught me to follow my heart”. I could absolutely relate to his answer. Two years ago, I embarked on a […]

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