Last week, the Sheraton hotel at Schiphol Airport opened a photo exhibition named ‘Round The World in 30 Days’ featuring pictures that serial globetrotter Jenny McIver took during her many travels. And boy, has she traveled; multiple 30-day trips around the world since 2006, visiting over 160 countries on all 7 continents; all while maintaining a full-time career, blogging about her journeys and writing a book on it too. With my interest in travel, blogging and Starwood being one of my favorite hotel chains, this was right up my alley so I was very excited to be invited to the opening of her exhibition.
As you know, I am a big fan of solo travel, and I admire everyone who does this, but Jenny took solo-travel to another level as she did all of her 9 (nine. NINE!) RTW (Round-the-World) trips on her own, while having a full-time job, without spending ridiculous money and with hand luggage only (that last fact alone blows my mind, I think this lady has got packing down to science).
Inspired by a travel article, Jenny decided to turn the airline- and hotel loyalty awards that she earned on business trips into her first RTW-journey in 2004. Those loyalty programs will get you a long way if you use them cleverly. This way, RTW trips are far less expensive than you’d think, and anyone can do it. Both Jenny and I are Starwood SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest program) members, as they have one of the best and most rewarding hotel loyalty programs.
When you are traveling through Schiphol Airport, a stop at Sheraton’s conveniently located hotel bar ‘the Gate’ is well worth your time. Not only is it a nice relaxing area before (or after) getting into the stress of security checks and catching flights,
the Gate is a lovely travel-inspired culinary venue where you can experience new travel destinations, both via the space itself, at the gateway of Schiphol airport,
and via its menu which offers small artisan plates and eclectic bar snacks through the ‘Paired program‘.
The Paired Program engages all your senses: the culinary team of Sheraton has created tasty dishes around the photographs of Jenny and the destinations she visited.
So you could taste a Bhutan-inspired Massaman curry…
…or a couscous salad with a Jordanian touch…
… or maybe a mini-burger from Colorado…
…while enjoying Jenny’s beautiful photographs which are simply a feast for your eyes.
Of course, the dishes are served alongside suggested premium wines and local craft beers too if you want. If this doesn’t set the right mood to kick off your journey, I don’t know what will.
Jenny recently returned from RTW 10; the difference with this trip was that she didn’t do it solo; it was a three-month honeymoon adventure. Isn’t that a wonderful way to celebrate your marriage? If you are able to travel the world together, you know that you’ve found the perfect match. Not shying away from a destination wedding myself, I really enjoyed reading Jenny’s story on her very romantic destination wedding in Tuscany, Italy.
Obviously, Jenny has many more exciting travel stories and globetrotting tips to share, which you can read both on her website and in her book “Round the World in 30 Days: The Grown-Up’s Guide to Globetrotting”.
So should you be at Schiphol airport, do take some time to visit this exciting exhibition, but be warned, you might be inspired to book that RTW trip that you so long desired. Don’t forget to let me know when you are there; I just might be able to join you for a glass of vino and some travel chat!