“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” ~Confucius
This was me as an excited 12-year-old having an “adult conversation” with my father.
Me: “Dad, I want to take a year off from school and just travel the world… see how other people live, what they eat, what they do…”
Dad: “Uh-huh. Sounds like an amazing plan sweetie. But you have got to do that on your own time…when you’re grown up in the real world.”
Here I am, an Indian-Canadian born and raised in Dubai, UAE, who has studied in the US and is married to an awesome guy who understands and shares my love for travel. I’m in my mid-30s and have always had an insatiable desire to see every inch of this fascinating world we live in. I’m fortunate to have visited over 40 countries thus far…in style.
Over the years, I created “documents” for each city I visited. I made it a point to explore the landscape on a cultural, social, and societal level, researching endlessly, speaking to locals and allow myself to discover places by chance. I began to share these with close family and friends and that’s what led me to officially launching Voyageur Chic – a luxury travel and food website; a platform to share all my research and travel inspiration with like-minded travellers. Why a website on luxury travel? Well, it all boils down to my passion for the finer things in life (it’s not been handed to me, I have had to work my way for it and still do) be it food, the way I travel, where I stay, what I do and how I do it. I know not everyone is able to afford this kind of lifestyle but if I’m able to inspire those who can and give others something to aspire to, then my job here is done.
You’re probably thinking what makes me so special to be writing this luxury travel website? My answer or hypothetical questions, rather, are…Who doesn’t want to explore the world? Who hates travelling in style? Isn’t this a common dream most people share? However, not all of us are able to document it, spend countless hours researching, or dare to explore places that are out of our comfort zone. That’s where I come in.
I’m a journalist with 10 years experience as a Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Editor of a leading magazine at a reputable publishing house in Dubai. I left my job last year to begin my next adventure – this luxury travel and food website and a career in the culinary world (more on this later!). I realised that a 9 to 5 set-up just isn’t for me and I would be happier working 20 hours exploring Spain in a day (which I did by the way) than being behind a desk. Those who know me will know how I thrive on researching and planning everything I do (I can drive my husband and friends a little crazy at times). Oh did I forget to mention my love for food? I have my mom to thank for this (she’s a great cook as most moms are). I LOVE tasting, making and travelling for food it and meeting the chefs behind the masterpieces (I’m a self-proclaimed foodie in Dubai). So much so that I constantly invent in the kitchen and subject my family and friends to my hits and misses. I also enrolled in the International Culinary Centre in NYC (the greatest city in the world, in my opinion) for three months last year. What an incredible food whirlwind that was.
But I digress. This is my playground to share my luxury travel reviews, cultural discoveries, international and UAE foodie experiences, exquisite hotels, spas and restaurant recommendations, tried and tested recipes inspired by my travels, fashion and beauty travel must-haves, tête-à-tête’s with all those who inspire me along the way (and how they explore the world), amusing instances and so much more. Hopefully, I’ll inform, inspire and help you plan your next adventure as I make my way around the world.
Grab a cup of tea, coffee, wine or whiskey and get comfy…
Vibha Dania-Dhawan xx