velvet | People
Geography is

Why geography is important

People often ask me about what sparked my interest to travel and experience different places and cultures around the world. The answer is simple: when I was eight, my parents gave me a geographic encyclopedia. This simple act had a profound impact. Little did I know but geography would go on to play an important […]

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The good news is…

While scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day, I noticed a post by my good friend Yvonne: “The Day of Good News“; and I thought, “What an awesome idea!”. Many of us had a challenging 2016, compounded by a stream of terrorist attacks around the world, the deaths of some of our most cherished […]

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Sunset at Seminyak beach.

Celebrating a Lifetime of Friendship – The Bestie Getaway

Allan and Eugene. They’re the best and closest friends I have. We met when we were six-years-old; we lived in the same neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur and attended the same school. Our friendship grew as we had lots in common and we shared countless precious moments together: joy and laughter, family tribulations and our own […]

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church-grins-mountains-photo

A schnaps adventure in Tirol

I have to admit… I’ve never been a big fan of schnaps. This clear brandy distilled from fermented fruits has a high alcohol content and the varieties I tasted in the past were simply mind-blowing, throat-burning strong with little flavour. That perception was radically altered after an extraordinary schnaps tour in Tirol, Austria! A fun-filled […]

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A jaunt into the Latvian countryside

I looked out the window as the plane approached the international airport of Riga. It was a beautiful, cloudless day and the Baltic Sea sparkled in the afternoon sun. The Latvian coast soon came into view and the first thing that caught my attention were the endless white, sandy beaches. Beyond that, were mile after […]

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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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massimo-casali-photo

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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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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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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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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