WORDS ARE POWER

Words have power, words are power, words could be your power. Those are not my words, but the words of Mohammed Qahtani, in his seminal Toastmasters International talk that made him a world champion in 2015.

He also says the following:

Words when said and articulated in the right way can change someone’s mind, they can alter someone’s belief.

If you have not watched Mohammed’s video then I strongly encourage you to do so. It is a masterclass in public speaking.

This week I was planning on writing about the Flybe rescue deal and how it is one of the greatest mis-allocations of capital this country has ever produced.

But then I came across something on Thursday that shocked me. I am not someone who is easily shocked.

It jolted me from me seat and made me think deeply about how manipulation like this could be used on an industrial scale. This is only the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t seen anything yet.

What I came across on Thursday was the Shell slogan “Drive Carbon Neutral.”

Drive carbon neutral

When I heard it for the first time, it was over the radio, and then in every advert break I heard it over and over again. Surely this couldn’t be correct, an oil company couldn’t be making such claims? But they were.

Further research uncovered that they have a product Go+. Quoting from their website, they claim:

With Shell Go+ any fuel purchase made will automatically be offset by Shell on behalf of the customer.”

This is the thin end of the wedge and if you ask me, the Advertising Standards Authority need to step in, because these claims are fantastic.

I will refer my readers back to Kevin Anderson’s Nature article: The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets.

 To quote the most memorable phrase from the article, he says the following:

Carbon offsetting is without scientific legitimacy and is dangerously misleading.

The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets

What worries me is that people will see advertising like this by Shell, see that it has obviously been sanctioned by the Advertising Standards Authority and so assume it is correct.

What Shell is implying, is that by buying this product, you will drive, with 0 carbon consequences. As their slogan dictates you will “Drive Carbon Neutral.”

Further investigation reveals that their plan is to:

Balance out the carbon emissions from the production, distribution and use of fuel.”

This is better than I would have expected, as they could have just covered the use phase. But it is nowhere near enough and driving is responsible for a whole host of carbon and non-carbon related problems. None of which are healed by this offset.

There are carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing of vehicles, the building and maintenance of roads and non-carbon impacts such as deaths from road traffic accidents and air pollution. The mere act of covering some of the carbon emissions associated with the vehicle’s fuel with an offset does nothing to address these.

In 1984 George Orwell wrote: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

I fear that this is what is about to happen with claims from corporations with carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality. The general public is not set up to be able to verify such claims.

I believe we are only at the beginning and I expect to see a lot more of these claims coming out which promise sustainability, with no need to change your behaviour, lifestyle or technology. Anything that sounds too good to be true, almost always is.

What you need to know  

This article looked at a number of things.

We looked at Mohammed Qahtani’s talk ‘The Power of Words’ and if you have not seen this I strongly encourage you to watch it.

Then we looked at the Shell “Drive Carbon Neutral” slogan with their Go+ fuel and what the implications of this are.

We looked into Kevin Anderson’s Nature article: The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets.

 We looked into George Orwell’s quote: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words” and how this might foreshadow how language can and will be manipulated by corporations eager to conceal the true nature of their sustainability.

It is my opinion that we are only at the beginning of what will be a deluge of greenwashing and half true information from companies that will promise the same product as before, but with 0 guilt because of offsetting.

We are in a war for information and sadly, the first casualty, when war comes, is truth.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think about carbon offsetting schemes?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S

If you liked this article, please share it with your social media networks, it makes a really big difference.

2019 A YEAR IN LITERATURE

This article provides a short commentary on every book that I read or listened to in 2019. I normally like to try and read at least 1 book each week. I am a little under that this year, but it is important to focus on quality and not quantity.

1. David Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big

This is probably one of the books that I owned for the longest amount of time without actually reading. It was so long in fact that I cannot actually remember how it came into my possession. I think I probably bought it after seeing it in a charity shop, because of the 6 million copies sold logo on the front cover.

The book has some important messages though and it is important to think big. It doesn’t make following through and actually executing any less important, but if you don’t think big, you fall at the first hurdle.

2.  Carmine Gallo – Talk Like Ted

There cannot be many people who have access to the internet, who have not watched at least 1 Ted Talk. But have you ever wondered what separates the talks that do millions of views and captivate the audience, from the talks that bore the audience and do very little views? If you have, Carmine does an excellent job of breaking down exactly what you need to do to be a standout speaker.

Whether you speak to small groups at work, or larger groups as part of your career, we all need to speak publicly and communicate our ideas at some point. I would definitely recommend this book as it is cram packed full of ideas and analysis that can help you with your speaking endeavours.

3.  Hunter S Thompson – Hey Rube

I am a big fan of Hunter S Thompson. Without his inspiration, I may very well not be sat here writing this article. This is more of a collection of articles than a book, but as with everything by Hunter S Thompson, his signature style comes through on every page.

This is one of the books that was released towards the end of his life. If you have not read one of his books before, I would probably not recommend this as a first one. But it is definitely worth reading at some point.

4.  Donella Meadows – Thinking in Systems

This was one of the best books that I read in 2019 and is one of the best books that I have ever read. Donella Meadows is a fantastic writer, but also possessed powerful ideas. I am always surprised at how systems thinking is not more prominent in debates around social, economic and environmental problems. Oftentimes rushing to solve one problem can lead to unintended consequences that make other problems worse. Systems thinking is challenging, but it is necessary if we are to solve many of today’s most pressing challenges.

5.  Mark Earls – Herd

I really enjoyed reading this book. You can tell by reading that Mark is very creative. There was lots of important information in here if you are looking to take ideas that you have and share them with mass audiences. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for insights into mass behaviour and how it can be influenced.

6.  Seth Godin – Small is the New Big

I like all the Seth Godin books that I have ever read and this one is no exception. Seth is the master of striping writing back to its bear essentials. Anyone can make a book more complicated than it otherwise needs to be. It takes skill and experience to make a book accessible and interesting.

7.   Elkington, Burke and Hailes – Green Pages

This was certainly not what I expected when I pulled it off the book shelf to read it earlier this year. It is not so much a book as a collection of articles from 1988. I found it to be very much frozen in time, without much to offer a reader of today. I bought it originally as I am a big John Elkington fan, but unless you are supremely interested in owning his entire bibliography, I would not recommend purchasing this book.

8.  Seth Godin – What to Do when It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn)

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this offering from Seth Godin was supremely well put together. Seth’s message is normally pretty consistent as always, partly trying to educate and partly trying to motivate his reader. This is an excellent book and I definitely recommend it.

9.  Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This was another book that I owned for a long time before reading. Despite the cheesy book title, there is a lot of good advice and information in here. Habit number 2, begin with the end in mind and habit number 5 seek first to understand, then to be understood were the ones that stood out for me. I would definitely recommend this book as there is lots of helpful advice in here.

10. Richard Branson – Losing My Virginity

This was the first Richard Branson book that I have read and I really enjoyed it. He certainly had an interesting and exciting life whilst he built Virgin Group from its humble beginnings into the company that it is today. If you are looking for an interesting business autobiography to read, look no further.

11. Chris Anderson – Ted Talks

You wait for ages for a book on Ted Talks and then two come out at once. This one is slightly different from the Carmine Gallo book that I mentioned earlier. Chris Anderson is the head of Ted and so can provide a lot more context to what makes a Ted talk special. I really enjoyed reading this and if you would like to improve your speaking abilities then I would definitely recommend this book.

12. Seth Godin – This is Marketing

This is Seth Godin’s most recent and I would say best book of his. It has a much more conventional cover and title, which makes it easier to recommend and gift to people who may not be typical Seth Godin followers. He puts a heavy emphasis on the reader to create the type of marketing that will engage with their audiences in the most authentic way possible. If you are looking for a way to get into Seth Godin’s work, despite it being his most recent book, this is a good place to start.

13. Henry Hazlitt – Economics in One Lesson

Economics is a funny discipline; you can see two professors or experts tell completely different explanations about real world phenomena. Both will think that they are absolutely right. I had seen this Henry Hazlitt book recommended from a number of different places. It was certainly eye opening and had a number of different examples that get you to think differently about the world.

 

14.  E. F. Schumacher – Small Is Beautiful

This was one of the best books that I read in 2019. I found it to be packed full of useful information and a really good read. I think everybody could learn something by reding this book as it offers an excellent critique of the bigger is better ideology that pervades so much of society.

15. Jeremy L. Caradonna – Sustainability: A History

I had high hopes for this book, but it ended up being something of a damp squib. Even though the content was important and relevant, there was no storyline woven together to keep you turning page after page.

16. John Elkington and Julia Hailes – Manual 2000

I found this to be a reasonably interesting read. The sections on air pollution and recycling were good, albeit worrying that people have been warning about these issues since 1998 and yet they persist. If you are looking for a John Elkington book to read, he has many better than this.

17. Carmela Ciuraru (Editor) – Beat Poets

I got this book as a present and it did not disappoint, there are loads of great poems in there from an iconic generation. If you are keen to learn more about the Beat Generation, then I can definitely recommend this book.

18. Meegan Jones – Sustainable Event Management

I thought this was an excellent contribution to the literature on how to make events more sustainable. Even if you are not directly involved with event management, it is an interesting read nonetheless. It has lots of useful information and insights for the reader to go away with.

19. Niko Koeffeman (Editor) – Meat the Truth

This book is a collection of essays on an incredibly important topic. What we eat is very important, it determines the health outcomes of our own life, but it is also increasingly influencing the health outcomes for the planet. This book is an excellent critique of how the meat industry functions, why it is dangerous and the damage that it is doing. I definitely recommend that you read this book in 2020.

20.  Seth Godin – Leap first

This book is all about creating work that matters. Creativity involves risks, but Seth lays out why this is important and takes the reader through that process. There is lots of good advice and information that the reader is left to take away with them, so this is an excellent book.

21. Goldstein, Martin & Cialdini – Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion  

I bought this because of how much I liked Robert Cialdini’s earlier book Influence. I had high expectations and this did not disappoint. There is lots of great advice in here for how you can here yes more often, with is something that we all want.

22. Colin Pooley – Promoting walking and cycling

This was a book that I really enjoyed reading in 2019. It was exceptionally well written, with lots of useful information to help the reader learn more about cycling infrastructure. Lots of the solutions were not what you would think. Overall, this was a great book that I recommend to anyone interested in cycling.

 

23. Pablo van der Lugt – Booming Bamboo

This is an incredibly well written, detailed and important book. I very much enjoyed reading this in 2019. Pablo has a tough case to make, the construction industries in Europe and North America are not set up to be accepting of new material such as bamboo. But the detail and infographics in each chapter allow Pablo to make this case methodically. By the end of it, you are left utterly convinced about this. This is a great book that everyone working in sustainability should read.

24. Simon Sturgis – Targeting Zero

This is another really important book that I read in 2019. Buildings and the materials that they are comprised of are responsible for massive amounts of carbon emissions. This needs to change. Simon Lays out his strategy based on his life’s work in a clear and concise manner. This is a must read for anyone working in sustainability.

25. Stanley McChrystal – Leaders: Myth and Reality Hardcover

I had seen a lot of the press promotion for this book when it first came out and I knew it was a book that I wanted to read at some point. I really enjoyed reading this. Even though it was broken down into different sections, which were all quite compartmentalised, it is well written and keeps you guessing about what is next.  Stanley McChrystal had an amazing military career and so is a major authority on the subject of leadership. If you are looking to learn more about this subject in 2020, read this book.

26. Blake Masters and Peter Thiel – Zero to One

I originally read this book in paper copy in 2016, but I decided to buy the audiobook version in 2019 so that I could listen to it whilst exercising. There is so much good advice in here, a lot of which is relevant for people who are thinking of starting their own business, but some of it is just good life advice. I definitely recommend reading or listening to this book in 2020.

 

27.  John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan – The Power of Unreasonable People

From the cover of this book, you would definitely not be able to predict what was inside. I was really looking forward to reading this book after I bought it and it did not disappoint. Social entrepreneurs have a big role t0 play to make sustainability happen in the 2020s. If you want to learn about this, then you should definitely read this book.

28. Mike Berners-Lee – There Is No Planet B

This was probably one of the only books released in 2019 that I read in 2019. I have to say that I had high hopes for this book, as How Bad are Bananas is one of my favourite books. But on the whole, I found this to be quite disappointing. There were one or two facts in it that were just plane wrong. I also felt that it came across as the sustainability industry talking to itself.

 

29. E. Freya Williams – Green Giants

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I was very inspired by all the incredible case studies that it contained within it. Sustainable companies can inspire their employees, customers and other stakeholders to achieve incredible economic success that does not damage the environment. That is a positive, optimistic future that I think a lot of people can buy into.

30. Patrick Moore – Green Spirit

This is absolutely one of the best books on forestry that I have ever read. You can tell that Patrick is an experiment forestry as it is supremely detailed. Patrick is also an extremely good writer.

 

31. Yvon Chouinard – Let My People Go Surfing

I really enjoyed this book. Yvon has an amazing story to tell about how he built Patagonia into a successful and sustainable enterprise. If you work in sustainability, you should read this book.

32. Thomas Friedman – Thank You for Being Late

This was one of the more challenging books that I read in 2019. T was challenging, but worth it. Thomas weaves together an interesting story about technology, the environment and accelerations. I thought the whole book was very interesting. Except for the last 2 chapters on Minnesota, I think all bar U.S readers may get bored by them. But overall, I recommend reading this book.

33. Roberto Escobar – Escobar

I was really looking forward to reading this book on holiday and it did not disappoint. Roberto had a close relationship with his brother Pablo and tells of the many amazing stories and experiences that they shared together as they built their notorious criminal empire. This book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there was a lot I learned about Colombia and Pablo Escobar by reading this book.

34. Hunter S Thompson – Kingdom of Fear

I really enjoyed this Hunter S Thompson book. I had heard that it is not considered to be one of his best, but I very much enjoyed reading it. There were lots of things that I learned about his life and his legal struggles that I found out by reading this book. Whether you are a die-hard fan or looking to learn more about this mercurial figure, this is a good place to start.

35. Sylvia Ann Hewlett – Executive Presence

I listed to this audiobook on the way back from my holiday in January. I found it to be extremely useful and full of information that can help you succeed in the workplace and in life.

36. Steve Hilton – Positive Populism

I am a huge fan of Steve Hilton’s other books Good Business and More Human. So, I had high expectations before I even begun to listen to this audiobook. I think more authors should narrate their own audiobooks, as I think it makes them a lot more engaging. Steve has a great set of arguments in this book about how populism should be seen as a positive force for change. It is well thought out and well argued.

 

37. Charles Mackay – Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Listening to this audiobook, which I only finished recently was a huge highlight of 2019. This book has lasted for so long and become a classic, because it is extraordinarily well written and researched. I question anyone to look at society the same way after listening to this audiobook.

What you need to know

This article provided a short commentary on all the books that I read in 2019. I hope you found it to be useful.

I did not read as many books last year as I would have liked to and I will try to do better this year.

That being said I did read a number of exceptionally high-quality books this year, quality not quantity should be the goal.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What was the best book that you read in 2019?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

CAN VEGANUARY LEAD TO REAL CHANGE?

This article looks into Veganuary and asks – can this annual event lead to real change?

Bake

For those of you not familiar with Veganuary, I have copied the following extract from their website:

Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond.”

Two things prompted me to write this article. One was the time I spent in India in early December. This is truly a country where vegetarianism is completely mainstream and where meat eaters are ostracised, the same way vegans and vegetarians are in Western societies.

The other was the first walk down my local high street after returning from holiday earlier today. I was amazed by how many food outlets were signalling that they had a new range of vegan products, which I can only presume is tied to the public’s interest in Veganuary.

Every issue needs its breakthrough moment and perhaps Veganuary can be the catalyst for highlighting the health and climatic benefits of plant-based diets.

For single use plastics, this was undeniably Blue Planet 2, which shocked the world into action on this issue.

For climate change, this has been trickier, but the increase in volume and severity of extreme weather events has certainly raised the profile of this issue, with climate emergency being Oxford Dictionary’s word of 2019.

But in terms of veganism and plant-based diets, there has been nothing thus far that has created a momentous breakthrough for this issue.

Even globally renowned sports stars such as Lewis Hamilton, the Williams sisters and Nate Diaz amongst others being vegan does not seem to have had the impact that you would have expected it to.

Help in promoting a transition to plant-based diets is needed now more than ever.

In 2019 I published a few articles on this subject.

In my series looking into the top 20 solutions from Drawdown, plant-rich diets came in at number 4, in terms of its ability to reverse global warming. This shows just how much of a powerful solution this is.

#04 Plant-Rich Diet

In my series looking into the excellent book Meat the Truth, we looked into the massive moral, health and environmental consequences of excessive meat consumption in high income countries.

MEAT & SUSTAINABILITY: PART 1

It is clear that action is required on a number of fronts, but the wastefulness and calorific inefficiency of meat production makes emissions from this sector particularly insidious.

I have borrowed the excellent graphic below from Dr Jonathan Foley.

ENZeLVpU8AAVkb3

This shows that methane emission from animals account for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is a huge percentage when you compare it to other segments. This makes urgent action on this issue a prerequisite for an adequate response to climate change.

I am minded to quote the iconic Dogs Trust slogan of “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.” This is exactly what needs to emanate from Veganuary if it is to lead to real and meaningful change.

It is great if people reduce their meat consumption to zero for one month a year. But if those same people relapse and continue with the all too common excessive meat consumption for the other 11 months of the year, then the change will only have been illusory.

Every issue needs its breakthrough moment. With the quite frankly incredible hype surrounding the Greggs Vegan Steak Bake launch, pictured at the top, as well as other UK food retailers getting involved and increasing their vegan options; hopefully Veganuary 2020 can be this issue’s breakthrough moment. The time that plant-based diets become totally mainstream.

What you need to know

This article looked into Veganuary and asked – can this annual event lead to real change?

We looked at other issues such as single use plastics and climate change, which have successfully used the media to leverage themselves into the mainstream.

We looked into the sluggish progress of promoting vegan lifestyles, despite high profile endorsements from major sports stars.

We looked into the undeniably massive impact that meat production and consumption has on the environment and society. This stretches beyond just the climatic impacts, but involves moral and health impacts too.

In closing, I am cautiously optimistic that Veganuary can lead to real and meaningful change. But we need a better communication of the fact that when it comes to climate change, we very much are what we eat.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to make vegan lifestyles mainstream?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

Travels in Sri Lanka 2

This article looks into week 4 of my holiday in India and Sri Lanka in December 2019.

On Monday I travelled from Ella to Unawatuna, which is on the south coast of the country.

The drive was very interesting in itself and we went past many beautiful waterfalls and I was lucky enough to see an elephant on the journey.

Travelling through Sri Lanka, I have been impressed with the amount of interesting Buddhist temples that you pass. I have posted a picture of one we went past below.

 

Unawatuna was a very beautiful place with friendly locals.

I have posted a picture below of the view from my accommodation. This was a great place to spend Christmas.

unawanatuna

The main beach in Unawanatuna was very beautiful and was a fun place to spend time over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

beach

After Unawanatuna I unravelled to Galle. This was a nice city. It was reasonably busy in the city centre and in the old town.

The Galle Fort is one of the most iconic things to visit in the city and it was a nice place to spend time during the day and in the evening.

galle.jpg

In Sri Lanka you are never very far away from nature. On my birthday I did a river cruise with an experienced guide that helped us look for wildlife.

birds

These proved difficult to photograph, but I did manage to see the following from the river: water moniotors, which are a type of lizard, several interesting types of birds and plants, wild peacocks, water buffalo and quite a few monkeys.

blue water lily

Pictured above is a Blue Water Lilly, which is the national flower of Sri Lanka.

What you need to know

This article looked into week 4 of my holiday to India and Sri Lanka in December 2019.

The coastal areas in Sri Lanka are very beautiful and have excellent weather at this time of the year.

It has rained at times but the temperature and sunshine has been invigorating.

The beaches are extremely clean and the water is very clear, with lots of good waves.

I had never been abroad for Christmas but this has been a great experience.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. Have you visited Sri Lanka, if so what did you make of it?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S.

Please stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I am planning on publishing lots of interesting content from my travels in India and Sri Lanka.

Travels in Sri Lanka 1

This article looks into week 3 of my holiday in India and Sri Lanka in December 2019.

To get to Sri Lanka, most visitors will pass through Colombo. This was a nice city, with a good vibe.

It was extremely clean with friendly locals. Quite different from any comparable sized city I have been to in India.

I was surprised by how many Christmas decorations were up in Colombo, some of which were very beautiful.

I was not in Colombo for long, but I thought it was a nice place.

From Colombo I travelled to Kandy by train. Kandy is in the central region and we passed by some amazing landscapes on the train on the way there.

Kandy is famous for its Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This is a very holy place and I am glad I visited it as it was certainly impressive.

There is also a giant buddah statue on a hillside near to Kandy. This was also good to visit from up close, but was difficult to photograph well from afar.

In Kandy, there is also a very large and world famous botanical garden that is definitely worth visiting.

The orchid house there had some of the best plants that I have ever come accross and they had an amazing collection of some of the best bamboo specimens that I have ever seen.

In Kandy, there is also a really nice national park called the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary. This is very close and easy to get to from the city centre. This was a great place to escape to from the city. You can walk around the trails for hours and not go past the same place twice.  

I went there on a day that it was raining, but there was something special about being in the middle of a rainforest when it was raining.

After being in Kandy I travelled to Ella by train. This is a popular train that is famous for its breathtaking views from the side of the carriage and the journey didn’t disappoint.

Ella is a nice town with friendly locals and a relaxed atmosphere. One of the best things to do in Ella is to climb Ella Rock, which is a small mountain close to the city with excellent views.

I have included a picture above of the mountain itself and the view from the top.

It took around 2 hours to climb from town to the summit. There is a juice bar at the top and refreshment was definitely required after 2 hours of climbing.

In Sri Lanka you see many beautiful waterfalls, I have included a picture of one below.

What you need to know

Sri Lanka has surpassed my expectations as a country.

The hospitality in India is fantastic, but the friendliness of the locals in Sri Lanka is on another level.

I am looking forward to seeing more of the country, including the coast next week.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. Have you visited Sri Lanka, if so what did you make of it?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S.

Please stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I am planning on publishing lots of interesting content from my travels in India and Sri Lanka.

Travels in India 2

This article looks into week 2 of my holiday to India and Sri Lanka in December 2019.

When I released my post last week, I was in Alleppy and about to travel further south in Kerala to Varkala. I had hoped to do this journey by train, but after turning up to the train station, we were told that the train was not for a few hours and that it was running very late. So we decided to get a taxi to Varkala.

Travelling on roads in India is an interesting experience. Most of the roads apart from major highways are dual carriageway’s. This makes for frequent overtaking by fast moving vehicles of slower moving vehicles.

There will be many times when you are certain that you will hit into an oncoming vehicle, but everything seems to work itself out.

Travelling to Varkala has been a big highlight of my trip. The weather there was amazing, they have a very beautiful beach, which I have included a picture of below as well as friendly locals.

The area also had very beautiful sunsets and I have included a picture of one below.

Some of the food that I had in Varkala was of an exceptionally high standard. I have included a picture of an Aloo Paratha that I had for breakfast one day. This is my favourite thing to have for breakfast when travelling in India.

After spending a few days in Varkala I got the train back to Kochi, where I stayed for 1 day, before flying to New Delhi.

New Delhi is certainly an interesting place, with a lot going on. Around the Main Bazaar area in the new town, you can find many shops, restaurants and places to eat, including rooftop cafes, which are a nice place to get away from the street and relax.

The old town is reasonably similar, but with narrower streets.

Near to the old town in New Delhi you can visit the Red Fort. This is definitely worth visiting as it is an impressive structure.

It is hard to tell from the picture, but the air pollution was bad on the day I went to visit it.

This is probably the most disappointing thing about New Delhi as after being in the city for a few days it is likely you will pick up a small cough due to the heavy air pollution in the city.

Nearby to the Red Fort, you can also visit the Paranthe Wali Gali. This is a district of shops, not dissimilar to Brick Lane in London, although these shops in New Delhi all specialise in selling paratha, which is one of my favourite things to eat in India.

On Friday I am heading to the Magnetic Fields festival in Rajasthan. So I am pre-populating this article for release on Sunday when I am away. I have been impressed with the festival’s commitment to sustainability and it should be a great event.

What you need to know

This article looked into week 2 of my holiday in India in December 2019.

If you are planning on visiting India, definitely make time to visit Varkala as it is a beautiful place.

New Delhi is also worth visiting as there is nowhere else in the world quite like it.

Rajasthan is also very beautiful and is definitely worth visiting if you have time.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. Have you visited India, if so what did you make of it?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S.

Please stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I am planning on publishing lots of interesting content from my travels in India and Sri Lanka.

Travels in India 1

This is the first in a series of travel posts that I will publish during my visit to India & Sri Lanka in December 2019.

If you fly into Mumbai it is definitely worth spending a couple of days there.

I have put a picture of the Gateway of India above. It was a nice day when I visited this monument and it is one of the city’s biggest attractions.

The next best place I visited in Mumbai was Chowpatty beach. This was a lot better and cleaner than I expected it to be.

There are quite a few food and drink vendors at the back, as well as travelling salesmen who come up to you when you are sitting down. So you are never far away from something tasty to eat or drink when you are there.

After Mumbai, I headed to Kerala and this was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to the most. Kerala’s slogan is Gods own Country and this is certainly an extremely beautiful part of the world.

My first stop in Kerala was Kochi, staying in the Fort Kochi part of the city. My next stop was Alleppy, the beach there was amazing and I have posted a sunset picture of it below.

If you visit Alleppy, one of the biggest attractions in the area is the backwaters. Which you can easily visit by boat from this location.

I have posted two pictures of the tour that I did into the Alleppy backwaters above. I did a day tour, which included breakfast and lunch. But you can do overnight tours.

The lunch that I got on the day tour was absolutely incredible. It was not just some of the best Indian food that I have ever had, but possibly one of the best meals I have ever had.

What you need to know

This article looked into highlights from week 1 of my travels in India.

I would recommend visiting Mumbai at least once as it is a mind blowing city. But after a couple of days, that will probably be enough as it is quite intense.

I would definitely recommend visiting Kerala as it is extremely beautiful, the people are super friendly and the food is amazing.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. Have you visited India, if so what did you make of it?

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P.S.

Please stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I am planning on publishing lots of interesting content from my travels in India and Sri Lanka