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Belmond

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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MeetSouthAfrica

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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happynewyear

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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mandela-statue-bloemfontein-photo

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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vintage-photos-kikis-photo

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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Keith-TEDxTalk11-2012-photo

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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dead-sea-solo-sunset-photo

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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mcleod-river-bottlebrush-photo

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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aerial-view-estonia-coast

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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