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A note left at the MH17 memorial at Schiphol Airport.

My thoughts on MH17

“Keith, wake up!” I opened my eyes and looked around in a daze. My partner broke the news to me: a Malaysia Airlines plane en-route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had been downed in eastern Ukraine, presumably by a missile. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was this a bad dream? I reached out […]

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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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Christmas greetings

Seasons greetings from Velvet Escape

Here’s wishing all my readers a lovely festive season and a happy, healthy and safe 2014! I’m grateful to have had a fulfilling year with lots of wonderful travel experiences, good health and time with my loved ones and friends around the world. A special thank you goes to you, my readers, family and friends, […]

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feeding-kangaroos-photo

My first ever solo road trip! Part Two

This is the second of a two-part series about my solo road trip around Victoria, Australia. Read Part One (if you haven’t already). Mingling with the local wildlife I left Daylesford Springs for the 45-minute drive to Ballarat, a town famous as the ‘Gateway to Victoria’s Goldfields’. It was a lovely drive past verdant, undulating […]

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On my solo road trip - me and my car. :-)

My first ever solo road trip! Part One

It hadn’t occurred to me before but it wasn’t until I was about to leave for Australia that I realised I was about to embark on my first solo road trip EVER! I’ve done many road trips before but never alone. I looked forward to lots of ‘me-time’ in the car but who was going […]

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mandela-statue-bloemfontein-photo

Never forget

p5rn7vb 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 […]

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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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flat-island-mauritius-photo

What paradise is like

This image will stay etched in my mind forever… Old friends, new friends, happy faces, rhum cocktails in hand, in the breathtaking crystalline waters of Île Plate (Flat Island) on the north coast of Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Everyone has visions of what paradise is like, most of which involve tropical […]

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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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