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Category: Site News

The Differences Between Traveling In India And Pakistan

It’s hard not to think about one when thinking about the other and having traveled to both India and Pakistan earlier this year, drawing comparisons was impossible. Both countries are very similar but clearly distinct in ways that may surprise you, all in the video above.

What was unsurprising though is the controversy that video created but the controversial aspects weren’t expected. You can listen to the behind the scenes of creating my India vs. Pakistan video in a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast below.

Controversies and comments have been across a wide spectrum of thoughtful, aggressive, and generally ridiculous. In the video below I address some of the best and worst of the messages I received.

There are some general observations I made though in the differences between traveling in India versus Pakistan and vice versa.

  • Crowds – Until you’ve been to India, it’s hard to comprehend what a population well over a billion means. In contrast, Pakistan feels much less crowded which makes sense, it’s population (220 million) is 16% that of India.
  • Tourists – India sees many more tourists per year, fostering a well-developed tourism industry. Pakistan on the other hand is still up and coming – so there are fewer tour and other organized options.
  • Food – Similar in spices with just as much regional variation across both but with meat, especially red meat, making up a big part of Pakistani cuisine. India has a much wider variety of vegetarian options.
  • Accommodation – There’s more stratification in Pakistan, particularly for mid-tier budgets. India tends to have hotels that go much wider – ultra-budget and very high-end without as many middle-tier options.

None of this is to say one country is better than the other, a generalization so general it has no meaning. Travel styles and interests play a big part into whether India or Pakistan might appeal more to you. In both Pakistan and India however, you’ll find friendly people, amazing food, beautiful nature, and plenty of adventure to be had.

How To Stay In Shape Mentally And Physically During Lockdown

edinburgh window

Maintaining an exercise routine can be difficult during normal times and you may have noticed any workout momentum you did have waning as quarantine goes on. I recently spoke with RT Training & Performance Center gym owner and trainer Christos Monastiriotis about how to keep your body and mind engaged during quarantine on the latest episode of the foXnoMad Podcast.

In many ways working out while you’re limited to home is a lot like staying in shape when traveling. You need both motivation and creativity to keep up with good hotel room workouts so most of Christos’ advice is applicable to frequent travelers. From nutrition to online personal training (offered at RT Training & Performance Center) plus the often neglected mental component, it’s an enlightening conversation you can listen to right here.

Your Coronavirus Lockdown Stories And Videos From Around The World

A few weeks ago I got in touch with my newsletter readers (you can be one too!) to ask how everyone was doing during this unprecedented global shutdown. These are difficult times for many but if there is one positive side, it’s a time when we have the Internet. We can communicate over video calls like Captain Picard, download any book ever written, and watch far too much television from any screen available.

In this sense, the world is a little smaller and many of you sent messages on what you’re doing to pass the time from around the world. Here are select lines from a few of your fellow readers, viewers, and listeners:

“I am in Colorado, on the Front Range. It is a beautiful spring day here and I am sheltering at home. When I used to work, I worked from home, so I am quite used to being isolated between trips. I feel like I have been training for this for 30 years.” -Pamm

“We’re taking the opportunity to go through the cookery books on our shelves to experiment with more dishes – Turkish and international. The exercise mat and dumbbells are in use, too.” – Julia (Fethiye, Turkey)

“I’m near Cleveland, Ohio, USA and we’re under a shelter-in-place order. I teach college history so I’m preparing to do that remotely starting next week. I’m spending my time catching up on some reading. It’s amazing how the absence of everyday “white noise” in my life is helping me refocus and re-prioritize.” -Laura

“Here in Berlin, things have slowed down, everything but supermarkets, spätkauf shops and pharmacies is closed and just take-outs available. I’m just flattening the curve at home, out rarely, but busy on the laptop nonetheless. Using the time to study… ” -Paul

“Every night at 8 pm we all open our windows and clap for several minutes in a row to thank the people who are still working out there to keep us alive. After the clapping is done, some of the neighbors start playing songs (very very loud) to motivate everyone else. Songs like “We Are The Champions” and some Spanish songs that I am not familiar with. I always smile at this time. It is a beautiful little routine that we have.” -Liz (Valencia, Spain)

A few of my travel blogger friends also sent in some messages you can watch in the video above. For a full version with more stories of how others are handling corona lock downs, check out this episode of the foXnoMad Podcast.

I hope all of you are doing well. Expect a lot more travel and tech quarantine content coming your way on YouTube (shot earlier in the year) and right here in the meantime to keep your mind and wanderlust active!

Singapore Edges Istanbul To Win Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2020!

best city to visit in 2020

In a very close contest that came down to a few last minute votes, Singapore denied Istanbul a Championship again after you voted it Best City to Visit in 2020. Though the 2020 Best City to Visit Travel Tournament has taken place through pandemic lock downs and travel restrictions, your participation made this one of the most competitive Finals in recent years.

Singapore came out of the toughest bracket, facing a number of strongly-supported Pakistani cities to end up against Istanbul, always tough competition in the tournaments. Despite multiple trips to the Final Four, this was the closest Istanbul has come to ever winning Best City 2020 but again couldn’t get over the hump, denied by a small margin of votes.

But as the tradition goes, no Best City to Visit Travel Tournament is ever predictable and Singapore’s win was hardly obvious 4 weeks ago among the crowd of 64 cities. Congratulations to Tayyab who nominated Singapore originally (winning $500!) and all of you who voted and shared this year’s competition.

As it is after every tournament beging, many people write me wishing some city had been entered. There’s an easy way to ensure your favorite city is in the 2021 tournament – subscribe to my newsletter. Aside from more ways to travel smarter, sometime each February readers get the first picks. Typically I also visit the winning city every year though those plans for 2020 are pending the current coronavirus situation.

Thank you again everyone and congratulations Singapore! Hoping to see you later this year…

Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2020 Championship: Singapore vs. Istanbul

best city 2020 championship

Big applause from our balconies for Florence, Italy, on its amazing run through the Final Four of the Best City to Visit Travel Tournament. One of the hardest hit areas of the global coronavirus pandemic, your support for Florence and other Italian cities showed throughout the tournament. Meanwhile, Sydney quietly got to the brink of the Championship but it couldn’t handle tournament favorite Singapore. Now, Istanbul, who’s been close many years might get its chance to win it all and pull off a major Best City contest upset.

As always, your votes determine the winner. You have until this Sunday, April 5th 11:59pm US EST (-4 GMT) to vote!

Don’t forget to tag #bestcity2020 on Instagram or Twitter to let me know your who you’re rooting for! The final results and winner of this year’s tournament will be announced on April 7th, so make sure to check back then to find out the Best City to Visit in 2020!

Best City 2020’s Final Four Is Full Of Surprises: Time To Vote!

best city final four

The Best City to Visit Travel Tournament never being predictable holds true as Singapore shocks Islamabad in the Elite 8 to challenge Sydney who had its own comeback against Montevideo. No stranger to Best City 2020, Istanbul is back to another Final Four against Florence, who won on tie-breaker against Rome. If there’s any Cinderella story of this year’s tournament, it’s the capital city of the Tuscany region.

  • Will Florence deny Istanbul a Championship once again? Does Sydney honey badger its way past Singapore? Your votes below will decide! You have until this Sunday, March 29th 11:59pm US EST (-4 GMT) to vote.

Don’t forget to tag #bestcity2020 on Instagram or Twitter to let me know your who you’re rooting for! The Championship begins on Tuesday, March 31st so make sure to check back then to see who’s one step away from winning it all!

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More


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