velvet | World of inspiration
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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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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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 world, […]

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Never forget

It’s a sad day for the world. With the passing of Nelson Mandela, we have lost one of the most inspiring and courageous figures of our time. Madiba, your courage, determination and messages of forgiveness and reconciliation will never be forgotten. You were and always will be a beacon of peace and hope. My thoughts […]

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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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My TEDxTalk – Passion. Empowerment. Social Media

It was undoubtedly one of the highlights of 2012 for me: my TEDxTalk for TEDxSaxion. I felt very honored to be invited and I chose to tell a simple personal story about passion, empowerment and social media. Standing there on that red spot was an incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking experience that I’ll never forget. I […]

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Image courtesy of Adam Nelson

One thing to do on Valentine’s Day

It’s a scene that always comes to my mind when I think of Valentine’s Day: the opening minutes of the movie ‘Love Actually‘ that were shot at the Arrivals Hall of Heathrow Airport. The scene of people, faces filled with joy, greeting each other with a warm embrace never fails to move me. It’s one […]

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