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Six Small Cities you Don’t Want to Miss When in India

Six Small Cities you Don’t Want to Miss When in India

Many people visit India for the peaceful, yet robustness, of the country’s myriad of culture, traditions, and the melting pot of several different religions that all come together in harmony.

Whatever reasons you have for visiting India, when you visit this country, it is more than a visit; it is an understanding of a way of life that only can be explained with the witness of the atmosphere, both literally and metaphorically.

Many of the remarkably vibrant and unique attractions are among the colorful and bustling hill stations that rest among the mighty Himalayan Mountains.

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#1. Mcleodganj

Situated low in the mountains, Mcleodganj is a highly cultural and eclectic tourist town with a strong Buddhist influence. The town has a sense of tranquility and peace, and many people visit for reconnecting with their inner selves.

The fact that this hill station is remarkably quiet and is distanced from city life, has amazing eateries, and a wide array of shopping and markets, make Mcleodganj very popular among those visiting India.

#2. Kabini

Talk about rich wildlife! Kabini boasts of it all, with its amazing jaw-dropping wildlife sanctuary, lush greenery and vivid florals that abound. The British used to use this land as their private hunting grounds, but has since then become a place of wild animal enthusiasts and seekers.

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In addition to the scenery of the flora and fauna, the waterfalls add a touch of relaxation and a sense of calm to the visitors. This river town has prime resorts with top-notch and pampering amenities.

#3. Shimla

Oh, what a bustling hill resort this is! Many vacationers; natives and tourists alike, visit Shimla each year for the Mall and the intricate alley ways of bazaar-shopping heaven.

Surrounded by the white-capped Himalayas, this nature resort offers plenty of thrilling activities for the outdoor enthusiasts, namely rappelling, rock climbing, mountain biking, and net bridges all along the mountain ranges.

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The Jakhu Temple, adorned with monkeys, is a lovely place to spend your afternoon, in addition to the Kali Bari Temple, which is dedicated to the Goddess Shyamala.

#4. Landour

Tourists who are looking for more of an American-influenced religious city to spend their time often go to Landour. This Himalayan mecca has several churches of protestant religions, as well as the sights and sounds of a lively Indian cultural hub.

There are stunning views, resort places, an extensive array of wildlife to be seen, and mouth-watering Garhwali dishes. While not as “touristy” and commercialized as other Indian towns, this is the ideal getaway for many to become satisfyingly rejuvenated and mentally recharged.

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#5. Munnar

A biologically diverse area featuring the Eravikulam National Park, Munnar is a beautiful town in India’s Kerala state. The city is located in the Western Ghats mountain range and is an ideal getaway for those who want to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Some of best things to do in Munnar are enjoying the splashing water streams, visiting tea estates along with learning the art of tea making, and the famous Kundala Lake. Munnar also features paragliding, South India’s highest peak of Anaimudi, and plenty of scenic hikes. Don’t forget to visit the Stone Christ Church to view its exquisite stained glass!

#6. Mandawa

If you are in search of an uber-“touristy” town, Mandawa is a lovely destination to meet all of your preferred tastes, sights, and sounds of India. This 18th-century town is like taking a step back in time with a little commercialism added in. The hotels are nothing short of jaw-dropping and exquisite in this area of the Rajasthan district. People that visit thoroughly enjoy their stay, and leave with memories of historic sites, rooftop restaurants, and the lovely people which make up this colorful town.

These destinations are each unique in their own manner. However, many commonalities are in place. They all reflect the way of life in this divine and dynamic country, and experiencing these small towns, among many others, will leave you with a special influence within your inner-being from this lovely nation.

Featured photo credit: beejees via pixabay.com

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Beth Hedrick

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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