Hero: Karin Barnhoorn

Chapter Fifty luxury travel Canadian Rockies Canada Banff Lake Louise

Cherry LAB’s passion for time well spent goes beyond boundaries! We are not only inspired by our own experiences, favorite gadgets and special places. Our inspiration is also stimulated by the unique stories of other globetrotters and people with a mission. That’s why we put a new Hero in the spotlight once in a while. These are heroes from all over the world and of course from our own country. Maybe you are next!

In this edition we choose to shine some light on Karin Barnhoorn, in our opinion a true hero because she demonstrates that the influencing industry goes very well together with approaching a 50+ audience. For this business lady, ChapterFifty.com is not her first entrepreneurial adventure. And not her last either! So read on!

1. What makes you a true hero?

Maybe the fact that I embraced the online world right from the start. In the beginning people were hesitant and adopted a wait-and-see approach to online. I immediately saw the endless possibilities to connect on a global level. To meet like-minded people and share knowledge. This was my strong motivation to start an online business back in 2005 (online prehistoric times!). I developed an international online luxury marketplace where buyer and seller could meet. Driven by the acceleration of consumption mania, I wanted to create awareness and contribute to a more sustainable luxury environment. Eco-chic recycling, why buy new if there is a perfect vintage alternative? After working 24/7 on designer-vintage.com – in the perks of always online lies also the trap – I was ready to let ‘her’ go and sell DV when a major foreign publisher came forward, and to start with ChapterFifty.com.

2. Wat is de drijfveer achter jouw platform en wat wil je bereiken?

When the selling process was finalised, I turned 50.  Which kind of came as a surprise, I still felt 37 inside haha. When I took a clear look around and observed other fifty somethings, especially during travelling – I soon noticed some remarkable similarities: well educated, responsible, fine jobs or entrepreneurs, wanderlust, loyal approach to humans and globe, conscious ànd fan of luxury and comfort at the same time. In short, a great audience! Well, I am my target group: a 50+ luxury nomad. And my professional attitude and experience might also help.

During my ‘DV times’ I experienced more than once that (online) marketeers were not interested in people over 40. That annoyed me and I think that triggered me to identify this group and become an ambassador. At the same time this blog is my personal new chapter, Chapter Fifty. At first I had to finetune where I should focus but soon it became very clear: (luxury) travel and to literally give the new fifty something a face. As I do in the Portraits series, I really love creating these interviews.

Apart from writing about travel and lifestyle for my blog, I write freelance and work as contributing travel & lifestyle editor for Talkies Magazine. Besides long travel reads (photos included) reads I feature a monthly page with my travel news. I also give talks about (or for) the fifty+ target group and/or luxury travel.

Karin Barnhoorn travel alberte Heli Edmonton

3. What is the highlight of your career so far?

Difficult to pick when one works since the age of 18, that is over 35 years! But the pinnacle certainly was the selling of my online company. These really feels like a reward for the huge risk, idea and too much hard work. A current high light certainly is my recent collaboration with Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific. For the first time in my life, together with mr. B., we travelled for no less than 60 days! From Hong Kong to Japan, New Zealand and Fiji Islands. Driven by the fact that we do live now, realise opportunities now and put experience over possession. Our #60daysasiapacificjourney was incredible, especially traveling in a time void. No idea of dates or days! This trip, yes a luxury sabbatical, gave me so much energy. For us, this trip definitely makes up for not taking a backpack sabbatical when we were young. Big time!

4. What can we expect from you anytime soon?

More of the same, I hope! I feel at ease when travelling. Even when it becomes hectic or asks for improvisation. It is clear that our 60 days journey has given us a taste for more. Some new destinations pop up in my mind, like Bhutan or Australia. Who knows!

I’ve come full circle, when I started working back in the eighties, it was in the travel and hospitality business. I worked for KLM airlines for twelve years as passenger handling manager at Schiphol airport and now again travel reflects my life. In many varieties. I also do consultancy on travel formats, test new destinations and hotels, I am proud ambassador for Talisman Travel Design and the Conservatorium hotel, I work as online and offline editor and love to give talks on (sustainable luxury) travel. For me no vlogs on Youtube, but I share with love on Instagram and IG Stories. It’s a small online world and I still think it’s very special to meet followers live on the other side of the world. I recently started a new IG account where I share portraits – faces of the world – of people I meet on my journeys. I love taking photos with my Iphone 7plus (there is even a word for this: iphonagraphter) and would like to explore this more in 2018. It is even the only camera I used during our long journey. There are some ideas for a book. I am about to launch my golf collection, a collaboration with Deblon Sports. And last, but not least, high on my wish list features the curation/design of the new KLM business class pouch. There is room for (sustainable) improvement!

5. To top off: what is your ultimate travel advice? 

I think it is important to connect with people you meet during travels, to understand the culture. Hire a local guid and explore together. This really gives insight in each others life and customs. It also gives you the opportunity to tip well and help when a poorer country is involved. Also, register for airline newsletters. Most of them have special promotions where their business class seats go for half price. Not important for shorter flights but there’s nothing quite like travelling (sleeping!) for 12 hours at night on a flat bed. Of course I realise that this is not an option for everyone. For me it is the epitome of luxury travel. Practical tip? Packing cubes!