velvet | World of inspiration

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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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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Velvet Escape challenge 2012

2012 promises to be an eventful year. In sporting terms, London will host the Summer Olympics for the third time (I’m hoping that Roger Federer will win the gold medal at his beloved Wimbledon) whilst the European Football (Soccer) Championships will be held in Poland and Ukraine (I’m betting on the Netherlands of course!). As […]

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A personal source of inspiration

This time three years ago, I was roaming around South America, having the time of my life on my first solo round-the-world trip. After ten years of focusing on my career, this trip certainly opened my eyes to the world outside my comfy ‘bubble’. I learned to value the relationships I have with my family […]

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Velvet moments: travel photo of the week – the moment

This photo brings back many fond memories. It was taken during the first leg (Amsterdam to Hong Kong) of my five-month round-the-world trip in 2008 as the plane flew past the coast of Estonia. I’ve called this photo “The Moment” because it symbolises the start of a life-changing journey that began in 2008 and which […]

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The story every child needs to know

It was a book that begged to be read. I stared at its cover for a few more moments before asking my friend, Rob, what it was about. He turned to look at it and his eyes lit up instantly. He carefully picked up the book from the coffee table, like it was a fragile […]

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Inspiring designs in the Amsterdam Metro

I’m not a big fan of the Amsterdam Metro. In fact, I never thought I’d find myself writing a post inspired by Amsterdam’s public transportation system, and certainly not the Metro! However, travelling in the Metro has become a much more enjoyable experience in the past few months after a complete makeover of the interior. […]

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