We've been back over a year now since our amazing travels around Asia and it has always been my purpose to share stories, sounds and images from our time on the road.
Through a series of blog posts I would like to share with you some of the magic from our travel adventures as a family around Asia; travels which sowed the seeds for the creation of The Ethical Gift Box through the amazing and more often than not incredibly inspiring and humbling people we met !
If your family is anything like us, we just can't get enough of travel ! We love absorbing everything to do with different cultures; starting of course with the people to the customs and religions that makes them unique, the marvellous landscapes and of course the scintillating food ! Travel is always on our mind 24/7, always trying to find an excuse for the next family adventure !!!
So I'd like to share with you some experiences from our year around Asia. If it's something that you have done either as a family together, or perhaps as a lone traveller do add to the conversation below; it would be great to hear your own personal stories about your encounters on the road.
I am a keen photographer and particularly love capturing street scenes and images of people and landscapes. Rajasthan is a great great place for photography ! So good at times you just dont know where to point the camera, everything is a potential winning photograph. I also took a small sound recorder on our travels, recording a daily diary and collecting lots of field sounds from the surrounding environment; whether it be train sounds, nature or beautiful music. I'd love to share some of these with you !
We spent over a month in Rajasthan. Having come up from Kerala by train (another amazing place which we'll cover in a later blog). We started our Rajasthan adventure from Delhi.
We arrived in Delhi, early November 2017 during 'smog season', an annual occurrence resulting from the stubble burning in the Punjab, the breadbasket of India (the Punjab produces 20 percent of the wheat and 10 percent of the rice in India).
When we arrived in Delhi a public health emergency had just been declared by local doctors, with the air quality plunging to levels likened to smoking at least 50 cigarettes in a single day. A frighteningly disturbing statistic, Indian air quality kills over 100,000 children a year !
Being stupid and decked out in breathing masks, we decided to set off on a tour of the sites of Delhi at the height of the pollution, landmarks barely recognisable through the haze !
I love Delhi to be honest ! I love being thrown into the most chaotic places imaginable on earth and testing my ability to cope ! Rather than running in fear, I am absurdly attracted to chaotic places, rammed full of people, all sorts of smells (good and bad), noise, traffic and just general anarchy and disorder ! Maybe that explains why I spent 10 years of my life living in Jakarta, Indonesia, another frantically chaotic city which oozes 'life' !
To experience travel at its most authentic, I think it is essential to see what makes a place tick. Avoiding the less attractive parts of a city/country, means you just don't get the true sense of the place. As the world becomes smaller one has to search further to find 'true authentic travel destinations/experiences', but as a pre internet traveller of the '80's, it is in my DNA to search such places out !
Old Delhi is a must if you want to get the true sense of India's capital city, particularly Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk where you will find the wholesale market. One's senses are pushed into overdrive in every possible way imaginable, but apart from being fascinated by what's going on around you, one just can't help feeling incredibly saddened particularly by the sight of slightly built men breaking their bodies pushing over loaded carts along the streets !!!!
It's scenes like this which make us feel so passionate about the principals of fair trade and upholding the human right for dignified, fair and safe working conditions for all.
On a lighter note, if you do go to Old Delhi, you must check out Kharim's Restaurant, a fantastic place serving great local fare and chapatis to die for !
I'll continue the blog next week as we move on to Pushkar and Jodhpur, the blue city before ending our tour of Rajasthan in Jaisalmer, The golden city in the inhospitable Thar Desert and finally on to Jaipiur, the pink city .
Hope you enjoy the blog and the photos. As I said, do feel free to comment below either on our blog or your own experiences from travel.
Just like the stories of our travels all our gift boxes tell a colourful story of the amazing people who make them ! Click here to see our latest gift boxes !
Jeremy, Tina & Girls
Sound Bites of Our Delhi Adventure
Click on the links below to hear some recordings from our trip to Delhi