There are places and then there are places that change your views of the world forever. For Anjaly Thomas, it was a visit to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – North Korea that changed her for the better. She writes about her experiences for us.
In that hour I touched the real Korea. I saw real people. I wondered if they would ever be able to cope with the outside world, if they would ever consider another God or rule- if they would ever know internet or BBC or CNN, iPhones or tablets, Adidas, Nike or even KFC, Starbucks or pizza. I don’t think I could ever imagine what it was like living under a regime that allowed no outside contact, not even through internet.
There Are No Gods in North Korea by Anjaly Thomas gives you an insight into the life of a Korean as seen by a tourist. From North Korea she takes you to the deserts of Gobi in Mongolia, a place which redefines joy and freedom far more welcome than the Potemkin City that was Pyongyang. She talks about how her travels to other impoverished countries such as Africa and her one life changing moment in Turkey that pushed her into starting the concept of Relief Travel that has since benefited thousands of people worldwide.
About her love for traveling and writing
Ever since I remember, I’ve loved two things – traveling and writing and not necessarily in that order. As a result, as soon as I attained financial freedom I hit the road. I did not just travel – I went solo. Any random country in the world was enticing – whether it was Cambodia or Tanzania, Papua New Guinea or even North Korea.
There was freedom in doing that. One of those trips, I realized it was important to share my experiences, especially with women wanting to travel solo and prove to them why it was okay to do so. I pushed the boundaries when it came to traveling and instead of just being someone who put herself in different places in the world.
Read this interesting article on travel solo by Anjaly. It is sure to touch a chord.
She decided to create new experiences
I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, walked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea (and became the first Indian to do so). These experiences gave me a direction to travel. I wrote these real-life incidents in my first novel Almost Intrepid – about how I went from being a novice backpacker to a seasoned and accomplished traveler. I didn’t stop at that – setting my sights on more unique experiences the world had to offer – the result of that is my new book .
About the book
There Are No Gods in North Korea. As the title suggests, this book includes my travel to North Korea in 2014, a singularly unique and mysterious country – an outcast in the eye of the world. In the book, I do not claim to be an expert on DPRK’s customs, traditions or political leaning, but I present the picture of a country as I have seen it – how a country and its people have been towards me – ditto for every other country I have been to. I love writing. As a child I took pleasure in writing lengthy and descriptive letters to friends and later, my diary. I often look through these old diaries and it gives me much joy! I am glad I wrote everything down. I am hoping to write a book on it someday! To say I love writing would be reducing it to nothingness – I take delight in recreating experiences, to narrate everything I have seen and experienced and to convey the reality of traveling solo, especially for women. There Are No Gods in North Korea is different from Almost Intrepid. Through this book I intend to portray a reality of a country as seen through the eyes of a traveler, not touching upon its political leaning or policies. I also have two commissioned books to my credit – both being travel related.
You can connect with this author on Facebook
And do read her account on all her interesting travel assignments in her very lovely blog Travel with Anjali