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5 Beautiful Places You Don’t Want To Miss When Visiting Kerala

5 Beautiful Places You Don’t Want To Miss When Visiting Kerala

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide make the decision to visit Kerala each year, and the number continues to rise. Known as one of the most popular travel destinations by National Geographic, this paradise is without a doubt breathtaking and gives anyone a feeling of renewal and refreshment. Overlooking the Arabian Sea to the west and situated along the biodiverse Western Ghats mountain range in the east, Kerala is a rich and unique gem located in on the Indian coast. Traveling to this exotic and quintessentially advanced society must include visiting the following five hot spots:

1. Munnar

Mountain slopes are abound in this quaint, yet bustling hill station known as Munnar. This prevalent tourist destination is home to an organic farming culture surrounded by mountain slopes and dewy valleys. It boasts over 80,000 miles of lush green tea farmland, as the climate and topography provide the perfect climate for growth.

Visiting Munnar will give you a sense of relaxation as you feast your eyes on the tea gardens, waterfalls, emerald-green pastures, and eye-gazing mountains. The beauty of this town is accentuated with a colonial atmosphere complete with bungalows, streets lined with local shops, winding roads with breathtaking views, tea factories, and its own unique small-town culture.

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Tourist destinations for the adventure enthusiast, such as Eravikuam National Park, offer hiking trails, nature walks, and flora and fauna that will take your breath away. No wonder Munnar is the most popular resort town in southern India!

2. Kochi and Ernakulam

Kochi is the perfect place to begin your touring experience of Kerala, as this district is located at the beginning of many popular places to see. Also known as Cochin, this port destination is connected to the mainland district Ernakulam. For fast-paced tourists who love modern amenities, this is a mecca of individuals of many cultures and is commonly referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Commercialism abounds in Ernakulum, which is sometimes simply called Kochi, or Cochin.

Visiting this metropolis will most definitely be a modern-day experience with the hubs of technology, plenty of shopping, and a wide array of industry. Do to the busy atmosphere, Ernakulam is the place where business thrives and English is a popular language, especially within the business zones. It is a large city with plenty of resort hotels and a vast amount of restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife adventures. To get away from the hustle and bustle, visiting the quiet and scenic temples, churches, and white, sandy beaches in Kochi can give you an amazing amount of variety in this popular metropolitan city.

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3. Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram is the ideal combination of a peaceful atmosphere and full-on urban life. It is definitely one of the places you must visit when in India. Known as the City of Lord Anantha, this destination is rich in history with honorable temples and an extensive art culture. Many art lovers flock to Thiruvananthapuram to admire the museums, murals, and historical stone carvings.

Thiruvananthapuram is the largest city of Kerala, and even though it is so large, it is remarkable how all of the different types of individuals live amongst each other and work together. There are many different religions and cultures that are intertwined and, in fact, complement one another. A highly sophisticated amount of technology and modern-life are a key component of Thiruvananthapuram, with many businessmen and businesswomen making their mark in the world commerce market.

Being a large city does not keep the individuals seeking solitude at bay, as it also has many places to enjoy in terms of tourism, such as sightseeing heavenly museums like Kuthiramalika Palace and Napier Museums and temples, namely Thenmala Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Thiruvananthapuram also offers­­­­ cozy cottages and resort hotels with a plethora of lush amenities, as well as beachfront life on the coast.

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4. Allepuzha

Allepuzha, also known as Alleppey, is perfect for the backwater adventurist. Many tourists enjoy sightseeing serene landscape, waterfront attractions, and plenty of water life upon houseboats along the lagoons and canals. This Venice of the East is known for its gorgeous and peaceful chapels, mouthwatering cuisine, palaces and temples, such as the Arthunkal Church, Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple, and Krishnapuram Palace.

Vacationers enjoy this serene environment that envelops them as they find plenty of opportunities for meditation, rest, and simply getting away from their normal lifestyles. Touring the countryside on the old-world style houseboats is what many of the tourists long to do and do not hesitate to come back for, as the memories made in Allepey are one of a kind.

Allepey is well-known for the Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the famous Punnamada Lake, which occurs each year in August and is a highly sought-out boat race in the country of India. In December, for ten days, the Mullackal Chiraq, in celebration of the Mullackal Temple, draws visitors from afar to celebrate this season of festivity.

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5. Thekkady

Thekkady is one of the most amazing destinations in Kerala for water lovers. In addition to the boat rides on the enormous Thekkady Lake, this wildlife sanctuary will give you sights of animals like you have never seen before. The wildlife refuge boasts sambars, elephants, gaurs, lion-tailed macaques, and, of course, the Great Indian Tiger! This region welcomes a large amount of animal-loving tourists every year and the tourism department of Thekkady is top-notch in providing the best experiences for everyone.

With authentic cuisine, plenty of time for relaxing, and adventures for the outdoor enthusiasts, this popular spot is second to none. The forestry adorned with life is simply stunning and the cool climate makes it a comfortable place to be. Jeep safaris are quite popular, as nature is up-close and jaw-dropping with the animals of the wild nearby, as well as Jungle Patrols and hiking. Many people enjoy experiencing the lavish spice plantations, as they allow visitors to experience an aroma they will never forget. From waterfalls to elephant rides, travelers without hesitation make a repeat visit to this paradise.

When planning your next India getaway, considering the state of Kerala for your time away from your busy life. There are many places in this southern India state that will make every moment of your stay absolutely worth it. It will be a decision you won’t regret.

Featured photo credit: Silver Blue via flickr.com

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Beth Hedrick

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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

Reference

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