The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...


3 SMALL KIDS, 2 CRAZY ADULTS, 1 YEAR TO TRAVEL THE WORLD POST 13: 5th March 2017, Ubud, Bali.   

6 months ago, we took our two eldest children out of school, our youngest out of nursery, stacked most of our boxed-up belongings into six self-storage units, lent out our car, rented out our newly-renovated house and got on a plane to Greece.

Given that we are now just past the half-way mark of the entire trip, here is a round up of what went right, what went wrong and how we have changed. And for an update on our physical progress, click here!

COUNTRIES & PLACES VISITED (for at least one night):

GREECE (4 weeks living like locals): Athens; Nas (Ikaria); Ermoupolis (Syros) - we based ourselves in Nas (the last hippy outpost of the island and the source of its culinary fame), first, in a hostel and then in self-catering accommodation. Travel-wise, we interspersed longer day excursions with shorter trips and added a 3 day spell on nearby Syros to break up the month (and celebrate my b'day)! This worked well although the driving was quite tiring given the state of most of Ikaria's roads and the fact that it is actually much bigger than it seems on a map!

Highlights: feeling like one of the family in Nas; the to-die-for cakes (orange semolina, baklava and cheese cake); the crystalline sea water; dancing into the night at the village panigyria. (Read more in my 4 Greek blogs: So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, GoodbyeWhen in Ikaria, do as the IkariansFirst the Shabby, now for the Chic & Eat, Pray, Love)


MYANMAR (3 weeks exploring): Yangon, Bago, Inle Lake, Old Bagan, Mandalay - this was our first Asian destination. We backpacked our way round the country using public buses and hired, private mini vans. The thrill alone of being back on this continent (with its exotic smells, tastes, sights and sounds) kept us going for two weeks until the slightly too-fast pace of travel caught up with us and we all got ill with (dengue?) fever. This forced us to adapt our strategy and slow down. We found that 3 nights was the absolute minimum we need to stay in one place in order to get a sense of it without feeling rushed, and 5 nights in the same hotel is the minimum we need in order to retain the energy to continue at that pace.

Highlights: the sheer scale and splendour of the Buddhist temples; the generosity, hospitality and easy affection of the Burmese. (Read more in my 3 Burmese blogs: The Land of Temples, Pagodas & Stupas; Magnificent MyanmarTaking the Rough with the Smooth)


THAILAND (4 weeks living like locals): Bangkok; Mae Nam (Koh Samui) - Thailand was booked as a last-minute respite after so much exhausting rushing around in Myanmar. There was also the lure of some beach time and the promise of an international school. In our haste however, we'd forgotten it would be rainy season (so beach time was limited), and the school turned out to have closed the day before we arrived. This taught us to plan ahead a little more. We stayed put in the same town on the same island, firstly, in a hotel and then in a luxurious, self-catering, private villa (off Airbnb). The latter not only saved us loads of cashola but also gave us a real sense of belonging and quickly felt like home. As in Greece, we hired a car and explored the island during day trips.

Highlights: shopping like locals at fresh markets; driving a truck; trekking in the jungle; Thai curries. (Read more in my 2 Thai blogs: Taking the Rough with the Smooth & Time Out Thai-Style)


LAOS (2 weeks exploring): Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoy - we felt ready for an adventure again after living like expats on Koh Samui so travelling round Laos seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately however, we didn't quite realise how non child-friendly it was with its exclusive, chic restaurants and equally exclusive (for different reasons) adventure tourism. Using public transport (boat and bus) to get around was hard, because the former are pretty terrible (no pee stops, no meal stops, crummy seats and no suspension) and the heat during the daytime was relentless. Accommodation wasn't great either and the people weren't very welcoming, so even though we followed our new strategy of staying in one place for at least 5 nights, Laos was probably the worst leg of our trip.

Highlights: travelling up the Mekong by boat; the dramatic, mountainous scenery of northern Laos; my decadent facial at Amantaka. (Read more in my 2 Laotian blogs: Exposing Cultural Differences & It's the People that Make the Country)


INDONESIA (16 weeks living like locals): Ubud (Bali) - Bali was also booked as a last-minute respite from Laos and originally we only planned to stay for the festive Xmas season. But the slow pace and quality of life available in Ubud, quickly prompted us to extend our stay. We have enjoyed just one (pimp) Airbnb villa for the entire duration. Having finally outsourced schooling, we have been proper expats for this stint of our trip and have not really done any sightseeing or cultural activities!

Highlights: the welcoming warmth of Pelangi school; the breadth of healing modalities available in Ubud; finally learning Bahasa. (Read more in my 2 Balinese blogs: Beautiful, Bountiful Bali & Living Life in the Slow Lane)



What worked:

  • lugging two English and two French (very bulky and hugely heavy) anthologies of bedtime stories around with us. These help create familiarity and routine in new and foreign bedrooms.

  • not bringing toys. Luckily the kids have each other and having a private pool definitely helps. (Thankfully, Peppa Pig is also accessible worldwide).

  • taking daily probiotics. I'm convinced that this alone has greatly reduced the overall incidences of runny tummies especially given how prone the two youngest kids are at both licking public objects or putting their (unwashed) fingers in their mouths at all available opportunities. In fact, aside from our Myanmar blip, severe upset tummies at least once in each of the kids (thank God for codeine phosphate), an ear infection, a parasitic infection, an anemone sting, countless mosquito bites and the two self-inflicted ailments that resulted in trips to A&E (a damaged ear drum and a cut to the cheek), we have all escaped pretty unscathed.

  • bringing a plug-in night-light for the kids (left behind in Thailand).

  • carrying a mini sterile kit: I was able to convince the doctors not to attempt a non-anesthetised stitching procedure on me and to use my steri-strips (which were not available in Luang Prabang hospital) instead.

  • giving up on homeschooling: unless you have permanently opted out of the official schooling system in your country, do not attempt to home/un-/or world-school your children. This is only for the very patient, very creative and very motivat-ing (and -ed) type of parent. Needless to say, we both sucked. Enrolling the kids in the nearby international nursery/school was the best decision ever: they are now thriving and we have some time to ourselves! The girls have picked up the basics of a new language, they have made friends with children from a whole range of different nationalities; they have reconnected to a working rhythm including homework, show-and-tell presentations and class assemblies, and they even do weekly yoga and gardening. What Raphael gets up to at nursery is frankly awe-inspiring and way better than anything back home.



What didn't work:

  • assuming that our children (7, 5 and 3) would suddenly become adventurous eaters because they were being exposed to different flavours and styles of cooking. They will now just about (aka be forced to) eat food that is a tiny bit more "spicy" than they are used to. Please note "spice" for them means an-amount-so-teeeny-that-it-is-barely-perceptible of soy sauce or coconut milk, as opposed to actual spice or chili). We have therefore found that it is much easier to order them western dishes when out and we try to be as self-catering as possible.

  • bringing audio CDs: most hire cars are so basic that there either are no speakers in the back or it is impossible to vary the balance between front and back sets. Since most don't have air con either, you need to open the windows in order not to die of heat. It is thus very hard for the kids in the back to actually hear any of the story being read unless the CD is on full volume. Bobomama then gets deafened as well as bored silly so we quickly aborted this as an entertainment option.

  • bringing large versions of expensive toiletries to "get me through the trip". This only works if you are not travelling with a back-pack into which you have to squeeze all of your family's stuff. Unfortunately for me, most of my wholesale-sized, exorbitantly-priced Dermalogica facewash oozed into the recesses of my wash bag during our first month away as a result of being squashed. I have since resorted to buying toiletries on-the-go. Hopefully I won't look 20 years older on my return as a result.

  • global travel adaptor plugs: these are so top heavy in order to accommodate so many different types of plug, that they topple out of sockets. Avoid.




 Travel 'hacking' tips:

  • negotiate on Airbnb! Prices are geared towards one or two night-stays and are usually ridiculously high. For stays longer than this, email all the villa owners whose places you like the look of, and offer them the price that you can afford to pay (however small this might seem in comparison). You might get some outrage but some will respond and you will end up with a good 'local', long-term rate on a very nice place.

  • do not pack anything on the outside of your rucksack even though there are hooks to hang things off and nets to secure things behind. These are deceiving. It will get nicked.

  • use packing cubes. I had never even heard of these before this trip but they have quickly become indispensable. They divide an otherwise chaotic mass of stuff into individual compartments, and can be used as mini suitcases when staying somewhere short-term with no room to fully unpack.

  • most visa applications specify that you need to provide proof of an onward journey on arrival at customs. This is a major hassle if you don't actually know where you are going next or when. So don't bother. We have not once been asked for this (touch wood).





Have we changed? Yes! Are we definitely going home? Yes!

Our trip has not always been easy on a practical or emotional level, and there are undeniable challenges of travelling abroad, including: super uncomfortable Asian pillows; huge hotel bills (thanks to having to book two rooms to accommodate 5 of us); the stress of trying not to lose too many things every time we change destination; the very basic standard of very basic accommodation; lack of privacy (villa staff come and go as they please, unannounced - the gardener has seen me naked at least 5 times); the sometimes intrusive, physical curiosity of Asians; tropical insects - particularly cockroaches and scorpions; trying to avoid the heat of the burning sun and trying to avoid catching mosquito-borne, dengue fever.

But the benefits of being far from home far outweigh the disadvantages, including: outsourcing the cleaning and laundry; living in luxury accommodation with staff; owning a private pool large enough to do proper laps in; constant warm temperatures; swimming in warm seas; the magic of fireflies; sleeping under a magnificent starlit sky; being serenaded nightly by cicadas and frogs; re-visiting the uber-luxurious Amanresorts.

This year of travel and exposure to other ways of living has helped us to work out who we really are. I always saw this 'gap' year as an opportunity to be re-birthed into the blue-print of me that was hiding behind the masks. The me that lay beyond the adopted habits of my peer group and generation, behind the family patterns I have inherited and absorbed, underneath both the societal belief systems that have been imposed on me, as well as the pervasive collective attitudes of my socio-economic class, culture, race and nationality. And it has done all that and more.

Will we carry on exactly as before on our return? I hope not. Because doing things that are out of the ordinary (and out of your comfort zone), keeps you alive. It is also fuel to the engine of gratitude. I want to continue to feel alive and grateful, so I want to continue to travel. That doesn't mean I don't also appreciate my creature comforts. I no longer crave some aspects of English life as I did after a month or so of hard-core backpacking, but I am not ashamed of admitting that I do miss some aspects of the life we had and am looking forward to it resuming.

The solution: to be based in the UK during term time and to dust down our backpacks for some adventure travel every school holiday. Is this realistic? Why wouldn't it be? We are, after all, the creators of our own reality. I want to incorporate what to me, is the best of both worlds: Bourgeois and Bohemian. And I can. So I will. And this blog -  and you, dear reader, - are going to hold me to it...



To see where we are on a map, click here!

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Temples, pagodas and stupas...


urmese vocabulary: 6 words    Tummy bugs: 1      Fevers: 3     Power cuts: 4     Personal items misplaced: 5     Favourite Burmese dishes: fried watercress & eggplant curry     Treats: Dermalogica facial & Burmese reflexology (so painful)      Thing I am most missing: my pillow


POST 5: 10th October 2016, Lake Inle, Myanmar. 

Temples, pagodas and stupas - do you know the difference? I didn't, but I sure do now! Because this is what Myanamar does. On a GRAND scale. So if you are being diligent little tourists (as we have been) it is quite easy to get temple fatigue. Almost everywhere you look there is one of them: either golden, stone or made of bricks, adorned or plain, small or immense, shiny and pristine or slowly being reclaimed by vegetation.

This is is because religion is a part of life in Burma and every boy spends at least one month as a novice in a monastery and most spend up to a year there. These provide children with an education, and also allow the religious leaders to keep an eye out for the next (fifth) incarnation of Buddha, who is expected soon. Moreover, monasteries provide the country with a degree of political stability because there are too many of them for the government to ignore. In return, the Burmese donate from between 10 to 30% of their annual income to the monks and nuns, who rely entirely upon this.


As well as being the second most philanthropic race in the world, the Burmese have to be my all-time favourite SE Asian people. They are so smiley, warm, honest and kind. They made our arrival at our homestay in Yangon a highlight because to say that they like children would be a major understatement. They virtually abducted ours every time we got home from sight-seeing!

We saw the same display of affection from the gorgeous orphans we visited in Bago. A total of 36 live at Grace Home for the Needy, many as a result of the cyclone that devastated much of the southern part of the country in 1996. Others are here because the region they were born in is too remote to offer any form of education to its population, and some were ‘rescued’ from rubbish dumps or left parent-less through abandonment, childbirth or social circumstances. Despite these tragic starts in life, they all seemed remarkably self-assured and happy: they played together as a family would - the elder members keeping a watchful eye on the youngest and there was lots of teasing and laughing.


Photo caption: Bago snake temple (top left) with its 6 metre, 128 year old python which is said to be the reincarnation of a famous monk (top right); one can receive family blessings of health and abundance by donating money to the snake keeper who says a prayer based on the day of the week you were born (the Burmese follow this special astrology very carefully). Xanthe summed it up nicely by saying "so you give the snake money and he gives you money back?" Yes. Exactly. Hopefully more than you gave him! Busy water thoroughfares coming in from Lake Inle to its surrounding villages (bottom)

What was really impressive was the responsibility with which each child undertook their specific duties. These were age-dependent and ranged from twice-daily sweeping of the entire compound, wiping clean the dining room tables, washing up the dishes, hand-washing of all the laundry and cooking the mountains of rice they get through each day. Shaving each other’s hair with a razor blade was a task reserved for the older children, and whilst not something any child relished, it was compulsory for all to keep lice at bay (until the age of 13 when they are considered old enough to look after themselves).


Photo caption: the orphans sitting down to sing their prayers before supper (top left); cooking rice over an open fire (top right); play time (bottom left); hair shave time for 7 year old Jennie (bottom right)

We are now in Inle Lake, a 20km-long but only 5m deep expanse of water surrounded by distant, forest-covered mountains. At 900 metres above sea level, it is Myanmar's first UNESCO biosphere reserve and is home to the Intha tribe. (The government recognise 135 distinct groups in total, which are placed under eight categories of 'major national ethnic races'. There are still ethnic tensions in this country and constant skirmishes along the border with Thailand mean that this area, along with other 'sensitive' hot spots are not open to tourists).

The Intha fishing folk are renowned for the way in which they row using just one foot, the other used to balance on their long punt-like boats, whilst using their two free hands to manoeuvre their fishing line or net. Luckily our visit coincided with the Phaung-Daw U festivities, during which 5 golden Buddhas are transported from one lakeside village to another. This seems to have attracted a larger cross-section of ethnic groups than we have seen before, which are recognisable, amongst other things by the different ways in which they wear and tie their head scarves.


Photo caption: different ethnic head-dress styles, for example: tied at the front with two triangular ‘ears’ on each side; tied at the front with the flaps resting on the head or tied at the back.

In some, the Buddhas reside overnight, in others, less than a day. In Nyaungshwe, where we are staying, the symbolic golden stones remained for a total of three nights. They arrived on a float which was slowly hauled past us by hundreds of locals jostling to hold the rope, whilst spectators lined the streets laden with offerings such as sweets, fruits and drinks. Behind the float snaked an endless procession of aubergine-clad monks followed by hoards of schoolchildren chanting and praying.


Photo caption: jostling to touch the rope (top left); monks following on behind (top right); the majestic, golden barge (bottom left); young men rowing with their feet (bottom right)

Their exit by water was even more impressive as the huge, golden barge taking the form of the Karaweik (the mythological Burmese bird with its large beak and carved feathers) was dragged along by the foot-power of thousands of young men. Each used one foot to row to the steady rhythm of cymbals and drums and one to steady themselves on their long, dug-out canoes. With 80 or so men on each side of every boat and hundreds of these joined together by a thick rope, it was a very impressive site as they glided by, majestically bound for their new temporary home.

Lake Inle is famed for its natural beauty, agreeable climate (its cooler, less humid days were a hit with the colonial British) and for the bamboo-plaited houses that perch on stilts around its periphery. Many of its villages specialise in particular skills: cigar-rolling, silk and lotus root-weaving, paper umbrella-making or silver work, and we visited these in a traditional, dug-out canoe. Despite feeling a little forced into buying something afterwards, I am very chuffed with my Inthe-style, woven scarf which, as any self-respecting fashionista will already know, featured heavily in one of Isabel Marant’s latest collections (you heard it here first).


Photo caption: the laborious process of extracting the lotus thread from the plant - see the lotus plant, the thread above and a piece of woven material above that (top left); a floating garden with its shed (top right); an elaborately-carved lake house on stilts (bottom left); cruising up the backwaters (bottom right) 

Another draw to Inle, is its aquatic allotments. These seem to sprout directly out of the water but are actually rooted in a thick mat of grasses, reeds and algae which occur naturally in the many small rivers which lead onto the lake. Farmers cut and drag them into it, adding soil to create a floating garden.

Whilst it has been nice to spend some time on the water as opposed to just gazing at it (one of the attractions of Yangon is its many lakes), there is still something I don’t like about this area. Perhaps it is because it feels so much like a tourist hot-spot with its massages, milkshakes, wine, pancakes and pizzas. On the upside, this has meant that the kids have been able to eat more than just rice, eggs, chips, fruit juice and bananas, but on the downside, there is something very inauthentic about the feel of the place.


Photo caption: insects are on the large side here (top left); the kids with their lotus flower garlands after the Lake Inle procession (top right); alfresco breakfast (bottom left); causing a stir (bottom right)

Perhaps we are just missing our former super-star status. Because in Yangon and Bago, we were very much in the minority and the kids in particular were constantly having their heads patted, chins stroked, cheeks squeezed or arms pulled by the locals, as though touching them would bring good luck. A photo with one or both of them was a particular draw and they even stopped monks in their tracks. This seems ironic given that the guidebook says that both touching someone’s head as well as taking photos without permission is considered rude. Obviously not when it is the locals doing it!

 To see where we are on a map, click here!

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Magnificent Myanmar

Bagan (13).JPG

3 SMALL KIDS, 2 CRAZY ADULTS, 1 YEAR TO TRAVEL THE WORLD POST 5: 7th October 2016, Bago, Myanmar.  

We are now six weeks into our travel adventure. So what have been our greatest challenges so far? Firstly, trying to avoid losing any more stuff. Our latest loss was our guidebook which was not ideal given there is barely enough internet to find anything online but luckily we got hold of Le Routard instead. Whilst it’s a bit of a pain being the only who can translate it, the French are arguably the superior nation in terms of pickiness over cuisine, so it has been a nice change to frequent restaurants recommended by them and not to be surrounded by the usual Lonely-Planet crew.


Photo caption: sitting Buddha (top left); one of the large temple compounds (top right); an Indian Jones-style complex (bottom left); reclining Buddha (bottom right)

Secondly, I've been desperately trying to instill a sense of hygiene (or rather a fear of lack of hygiene) into the children which is an issue when most restaurants don't offer anywhere to wash your hands, let alone soap. I therefore carry around with me at all times a portable mini pharmacy, oodles of sanitising gel, a soap and antiseptic wipes. Despite my remonstrations, they still love to put their hands in their mouth at any occasion and I have caught them rubbing their mouths and even licking surfaces that are at the right height. Another stumbling block has been the hole-in-the-ground loos. These have taken the kids a while to get used to as they are often very slippy (which means keeping your balance is even harder) and 'flushing' them by hand with a one-handled bucket is an art. Thankfully, they are actually less of a potential germ trap than ‘foreigner loos’ because the kids are less likely to touch things during their visit.

This is all outweighed by the pleasure of being back in South-East Asia: the noises (scooters with up to 6 people riding on one tiny seat, cackling diesel tractor engines tacked onto tuk tuks belching out black fumes); the unusual spice combinations; Asian vegetables; the constant heat; the rainbow-coloured tropical fruits; the elegant traditional costume; the east-meets-west housing;  the lush vegetation; the street markets; the ubiquitous stray and domestic animals (pigs, horses, goats, cows, hens and cats) living cheek by jowl with their human neighbours; the crazy traffic; the bustling markets selling everything from ironmongery to clothes, to dried and (still live) fish to jewellery (the smell of a market is quite something) and the tiny shops found every 5 metres selling strings of individual sachets of creams and shampoos, one plaster and one battery – just enough to supply a micro economy.


Photo caption: street food and street markets

The only thing that bothers me is the apparent lack of respect for the environment. If it seemed bad on Ikaria, here it is colossal. Not one second is wasted on pondering what to do with an empty bottle of water, it is merely thrown out of a window into the roadside vegetation or dropped onto the pavement; villagers think nothing of living right by (and sometimes literally on top of) pools or mounds of rotting debris dotted with hungry pigs and dogs; there are heaps of non-biodegradable plastics clogging up streams, and even markets selling fresh meat, fruit and fish are located right next door to these putrid piles of waste (indeed it is probably created by its stall-keepers). Sadly, I’m not sure it will ever change – there are too many other bigger issues to tackle first (poverty, the rich/poor divide, opium production – Myanmar is the second highest global producer – and lack of family planning, to name but a few) so you just have to accept it as part of life and make sure you at least do your bit.


Photo caption: rotting waste (top left); tuk tuk (top right); wearing the ubiquitous, unisex, Burmese sunscreen which is also make-up (bottom left); a Burmese feast (bottom right)

Despite this, what has struck me the most since arriving is not how different we are, but how similar. The kids here all love eating sweets, playing tag and watching TV, the men talk about football and the women sit and gossip together and all are exasperated after having had their kids forced on them for the school holidays. Which makes me so pleased we didn’t pre-arrange our visit with a tour company out of a fear of the unknown because travelling couldn't have been easier! We have been going where we fancy when we fancy and relying on the expertise of our hotel reception to book transport to our next destination. Taxis or motorbike-powered tuktuks are used to visit local sights and we are doing without guides (and more recently guidebooks), preferring instead to drink in the energy and feel of a place rather than take loads of facts on board during the visit only for them to evaporate a couple of hours later. Apparently it's also the correct thing to do, as it means our relative wealth is distributed more evenly on the ground rather funnelled into just a handful of (mainly western) companies.


Photo caption: a street carnival (top left); street scene with temples and monks (top right); novice monks posing for a photo (bottom left); domestic animals wandering the streets for food (bottom right)

Budget-wise, we are on track so far which is a bonus given how relatively expensive Myanmar is. Hotel rooms are around 40US$ each, which is much more than you would pay in a neighbouring country for the same quality, and there are entrance fees for tourists to all the major religious sites. Food however is very good-value (our average spend for one meal is about £7) and it really is delicious! That said, it has been hard to find outlets that serve proper Burmese fare as opposed to Chinese dishes. This is apparently because the former requires the use of a lot of different spices and takes a long time to prepare.

As a result, we have only eaten truly authentically twice – once in a restaurant picked by our driver in Yangon for the day, and once in the home of the founder of the orphanage we visited in Bago. Highlights are: a fermented bean, pomelo, fish sauce, peanut and chilli pickle; another pickle of sour, fermented green tea leaves; smashed butter beans topped with crispy fried onion; sweetcorn puree; a delicate herb soup which is taken alongside a meal; a caramel-flavoured fudge made from the sap of a palm tree and eggplant curry (made with tomato, garlic, ginger and marsala). What is unusual for Asia, is that there is no soy sauce. Instead you get fish sauce with raw garlic and hot green chilli marinating in it. There is also only a sparse use of coconut milk here. This is reserved for the dried-fish-based curry only, which is their national breakfast dish. Despite my love of Asia, I have not yet felt local enough to try first thing in the morning.


Photo caption: playing with the locals in the park (top left); our home from home in Yangon (top right); street scenes in the capital (bottom)

Are we missing home at all after six weeks on the road? Yes, a little. I miss quiet, undisturbed time to myself; not living out of a backpack; eating the food I really want to eat when I fancy it; immersing myself in nature and my yoga practise. I’ve even thought wistfully about wearing skinny jeans and boots...

Hopefully we will get some more ‘me-time’ and the children will enjoy more of a regular structure to their days when we are able to enroll them in school. Because it feels like we all need a bit of a break. Staying three nights somewhere and packing each of the days in between with sightseeing feels too fast. Five nights is more manageable. But travelling for a year means that our accommodation is in the budget category and this makes chilling out so much harder with no private outdoor space available or pool. So our next destination needs to be a beach one. It's time for some rest and recuperation (and a bit of homeschooling of course)...


Photo caption: another street, another golden temple (top left); sarong stall (top right); praying with the locals in the most auspicious spot of the temple (bottom left); what is left of a colonial past (bottom right)

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Nupi Lan


The women from the Indian state of Manipur have their own word for empowerment - 'Nupi Lan'. This means no less than 'women's war' and twice during the 20th Century they have waged it to fight against exploitation by the imperialist British. And they won! They continue to show the power that comes from collective collaboration by running a women's-only market, featured here:

Yet more proof that through coming together, women can achieve the previously unthinkable.

A market in Jodhupur. Markets around the world are often predominantly run and frequented by women.

Manipur is on the border of India and Myanmar - two countries we plan to visit as part of our year-long trip 'living like locals' across Asia. I hope to absorb some of this inspiring energy that combines a Warrior spirit with the calm insight of Buddha!

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