Keith is not only a travel blogging inspiration, he is a life inspiration and one of the few people that I believe has really researched and thought through the future awaiting those in the travel blogging profession. I have had a few chances to sit down and talk to Keith about travel, blogging and life and each conversation was more thought provoking than the last.
He left a lucrative career in corporate and investment banking to do what he is doing now — providing information and insights to people that want to travel in luxury around the world. He has visited over 60 countries on 6 continents and, as he puts it, “Velvet Escape is about getting away from our daily routines & exploring, being adventurous, reflecting & doing it in style.”
Is it the perfect explanation for what Keith is all about.
1 – Worst meal you’ve ever had?
A hamburger at the airport in Dar-es-Salaam. I’m not sure what was in that burger but I was so hungry. I took a bite and it was pretty disgusting. The ‘meat’ had a weird pungent smell and had a leathery texture whilst the bun was papery. I spat out that first bite and threw the rest away. Gosh, I can still conjure the taste of that first bite till this day!
2 – What fictional character would you most like to trade places with?
Any character that can fly so I can fly anywhere at my own leisure and help reduce carbon emissions. Erm… Superman? I wouldn’t mind those super powers either. Hey, didn’t he have x-ray vision? LOL!
3 – Fill in the blank: I can beat almost anyone at _________.
naming capital cities around the world. Though… with the big 4-0 approaching fast, my memory isn’t what it used to be.
4 – Who is your favorite musician or band?
Madonna. She’s not the best singer, nor the best dancer or actress but see what she’s achieved. Respect!
5 – You have done some amazing luxury travel — tell us the single most luxurious place you have ever stayed at.
When it comes to the total experience, I would have to choose the Sofitel Motu Bora Bora. I stayed in an overwater bungalow with unforgettable views of the Bora Bora lagoon and Mount Otemanu. Colourful fish in the sea could be viewed through the glass coffee table. The experience of waking up to the sounds of the waves and the sea breeze, then jumping off the deck for a morning swim, is one I’ll never forget. In the late afternoons, the hotel staff would bring a cocktail and amuses to the bungalow and I would sit on the deck and watch the procession of all sorts of fish, mantas and baby sharks pass right under my feet, cocktail in hand of course.
6 – Give us your ideal dinner party: you and 4 others.
On a boat cruising through the canals of Amsterdam. Simply magical! Oh, I can only invite four people? My sister would have to be one of them (because I know she’ll love it and she’s hilarious after a few vinos). I would also invite my best friends Eugene and Allan and err… Sir Richard Branson. Haha! We’ll have a fab time I’m sure!
7 – What do you miss most, aside from your family, from your original home country of Malaysia?
That’s easy. The food! Malaysian food is seriously good.
8 – What is your best karaoke song?
I’ve been to a karaoke club several times but sung only once (after one too many G&T’s). The song: oh no… did I actually sing “All By Myself”? I can’t remember.
9 – Best bit of graffiti you have ever seen.
The funkiest graffiti I’ve seen were in the streets of Valparaiso, Chile.
10 – What is the oddest place you have ever spent the night?
In a cave. Mind you, it was a five-star hotel cave. The Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve in South Africa has these fabulous cave rooms – a pretty quirky experience!
11 – Most significant task you have completed so far in your life?
Ok, this may sound corny but it was quite a task trying to find reasons to love myself and feel good about it. I have discovered though that this task has allowed me to love others a lot easier and embrace love. It’s brought a great sense of meaning to my life and makes every experience a lot richer.
12 – Spoil a movie for us — what is your favorite movie ending?
The Sixth Sense – I guess everyone’s seen this movie so there’s no point in elaborating.
13 – If you were confined to one country for the rest of your life, where would you choose… and what would your profession of choice be?
The Netherlands. I simply love living here. I guess I would continue doing what I do right now: blogging, consulting and speaking.
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