Expanding the Master Travellr website with new perspectives and creating a community of diverse voices is something that’s exciting and keeps content fresh.
I worked with Melissa Verwey from my time at Cityline, and since then, she spent the last two years living abroad and travelling throughout Europe. She’s since returned to Canada wants to share her love of travel with anyone who will listen.
Melissa is an avid travel blogger, YouTuber (Mellie Telly), and Toronto-based actress. Her career experience has included performing in over 20 plays, along with commercials and television, coupled with over a decade of working behind the scenes in TV and theatre production.
When not working on set or on stage, she considers herself to be a wine enthusiast, animal lover, and (vegetarian) taco connoisseur.
I couldn’t be happier to welcome her to the team. Get to know Verwey in a quick Q&A I had with her below!
Q&A with Melissa Verwey
Where does your interest for travel stem from?
My love of travel really started to blossom around two years ago, after I moved to Amsterdam. My husband (then boyfriend) and I moved on a whim, with no idea what to expect with life overseas. Over in Europe, we found travel to be much cheaper and accessible, so we decided to use that to our advantage.
You can literally be in a new country in under an hour’s drive, so we planned to venture out to a new country a month. That experience opened my eyes to new food ideas, different cultures, and a deeper understanding and appreciation of world history. Now that we are back in Canada, we are so infused with the travel bug that there are no intentions to quit anytime soon.
Was there a trip that started the wanderlust obsession?
Before moving to Amsterdam, I honestly didn’t travel that much. Other than a few trips to the States, I did not have the opportunity to really explore. Then I went on a few trips down to the Caribbean and my eyes started to widen to how big and wonderful the world is. On one of those trips, Trinidad and Tobago, is where we decided to take things to a new level and give the move to The Netherlands a try.
Tell me about a trip that took you completely out of your comfort zone.
Good question! So many, a lot of it to do with our interesting choices in accommodations. But if I had to choose it would be South Africa – it was an epic trip that forced me to face fears and leave my comfort zone entirely. There I did many activities I never would have thought of doing, such as shark cage diving, zip lining, hugged an ostrich, went on an early morning safari, put my hand in an elephant’s mouth, and visited neighbourhoods that I would likely not venture to on my own.
On top of these new adventures, it was the first time that we traveled with other couples (strangers), and not on our own. As the itinerary was all predetermined, we did not know anything about our hotels (which changed every night), or the finer details of the next day’s activities (and I am ALL about knowing the details).
We also had a bit of a culture shock in the country when visiting the townships, or spent time walking around some areas in Cape Town that were not the safest and encountered sticky situations (such as being followed and threatened for our camera and money). Not to deter anyone from traveling there, just do your homework beforehand!
If there’s a place you can visit time and time again, where would it be and why?
There are so many places I would love to go back to, as I could spend so much more time exploring. There is much to see everywhere I visit, that often when I leave a place I’m left feeling like I barely even scratched the surface.
However, I’m going to say France. I’ve been to France three times, and each time the food was impressive, the people were so welcoming, the history fascinating, the views breathtaking and the wine unforgettable.
Where is your next dream adventure?
There are still so many places I have yet to explore. Even after visiting a good chunk of Europe, when I step back and look at a world map I realize how small my footprint across the globe has actually been.
I would love to visit Egypt and explore the pyramids, or head to base camp on Mount Everest, or explore the Temples in India.
More on Melissa
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.