The Good Life With IQ
If you want tips, tricks and insights on travelling, being vegetarian, sustainability and India, and from someone who’s been there and done that, then The Good Life With IQ is a good place to be! The inspiration for this blog was a trip to the Lakshadweep islands in early 2017. We had a really tough time trying to figure out how to plan our trip, and the fact that there wasn’t really much useful information on the net was really frustrating. When we got back, I decided to write a post on how we planned our Lakshadweep trip, so that other travellers could be spared our frustration. But once I got started, it was difficult to stop. And that's how The Good Life With IQ got where it is today.
It’s been a little more than year since I started this travel blog, and it’s been tough but fun! Though I’ve enjoyed writing everything I’ve published, here are the top 10 posts I’ve enjoyed writing the most.
I have to admit, writing a post almost every single weekend for a year hasn’t been easy. But that year’s gone by quite quickly, in hindsight. And now here I am, writing my 50th post! It’s a happy coincidence that I’m writing this post on the threshold of a new phase in my life. In the next few days, I’m changing over from a content writer and part-time communications consultant to a full-time travel blogger and content creator. Expect even better stuff from The Good Life With IQ from now on!
Like I said, it’s been a tough year, and though some posts have come easier than others, I’ve enjoyed writing every one. And though it’s been a bit difficult to decide which I’ve enjoyed writing the most, I finally managed. So here are my top 10 posts (in no particular order). I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Our incredible holiday in mysterious Lakshadweep
This was one of the first posts that I wrote (and is possibly the longest too). In fact, our trip to the Lakshadweep islands was the inspiration behind starting The Good Life With IQ. We had spent lots of time researching Lakshadweep and how to get there, and didn’t really find much. So once we did visit, I thought it would be a good idea to write a detailed blog post about the entire thing for other frustrated travellers.
Read: Our incredible holiday in mysterious Lakshadweep
Magical sunset in the clear, shallow waters around the tiny island of Thinnakara in Lakshadweep
A road trip through Germany, and other ways to pass the time (Part 4): The ‘romantic road’
We had done an epic three-week road trip through Germany in 2015, and this is one of the posts about that trip. I actually started writing this series of travelogues for some colleagues at an organization I was doing some work for. And I realized, once I started The Good Life With IQ, that it might make sense to publish those on my blog too (this was before I decided to focus on travel in India). Of the six different travelogues I wrote about that trip, this one’s my favourite.
Read: A road trip through Germany, and other ways to pass the time (Part 4): The ‘romantic road’
The Marienberg fortress of Wuerzburg, seen from the banks of the river Main, on Germany’s romantic road
Eight things every first-time dog owner should do (and one that they shouldn’t)
I wrote this post while I was still experimenting with what to write about. I was driven to write this by the dog owners we’d encountered over the years who didn’t look they had any idea what they were doing. And while I’m no expert, I thought writing about my experiences with dogs over 30 years of my life might help someone make the right decisions. If even one dog ended up having a better life because of my post, that would be awesome!
Read: Eight things every first-time dog owner should do (and one that they shouldn’t)
A watercolour portrait of our beagle Max, done by a very talented uncle
What you experience on a 7-day, 2000-kilometer motorcycle ride along India’s east coast
For those who don’t know me, my motorcycle’s been an important part of my life for 15 years, and we’ve been all over the country together. And this trip was one of the most epic we’ve done together. It’s also the only bike trip I’ve posted about, probably because I was too busy riding to take photographs during the other ones!
Read: What you experience on a 7-day, 2000-kilometer motorcycle ride along India’s east coast
My bike and I take a break on the highway to Kolkata
Eight easy ways in which you can be more environment-friendly
I’ve always been somewhat concerned about what we’re doing to the environment (thanks to the influence of my family). But the true extent of our species’ carelessness was really hammered home during our time in Lakshadweep. One side of Thinnakara island, which is 300 kilometers off India’s coast, was piled with rubbish washed up by the waves! So I decided to write about how everyone could make small changes to their lives and make some sort of difference to the planet. Of course, I know that one blog post won’t do much. But I’m happy if it even gets a few people thinking.
Read: Eight easy ways in which you can be more environment-friendly
Plastic debris washed up on remote Thinnakara, in the Lakshadweep Islands (the picture doesn’t do the rubbish justice)
Eight great reasons why you should visit ‘the land of kings’
There’s a reason why Rajasthan is the most popular tourist state in India. Actually, there are lots of reasons! And we found this out when we visited a few years ago. Reliving the memories of all the incredible things we saw during our visit there made writing this post a real pleasure for me. And we can’t wait to go back for some new memories.
Read: Eight great reasons why you should visit ‘the land of kings’
The tombs of forgotten kings at Pokhran, just off the highway to Jaisalmer
Turning vegetarian? Here are 10 tips from someone who’s done it
Six years ago, I turned vegetarian after some unintended eye contact with a chicken. To be honest, I thought I’d try it first and see how it went. Six years on, with a few hiccups along the way, I’m still vegetarian. But giving up meat entirely isn’t easy, especially if you really like eating it (ask me, I know). So I thought I would write about what it’s like to turn vegetarian, just in case someone else had the same idea.
Read: Turning vegetarian? Here are 10 tips from someone who’s done it
Fresh, juicy carrots on sale at Doddabetta Peak near Ooty.
Millennia back in time: The magnificent temples of Madurai and Tanjore in South India
This trip to the south of Tamil Nadu was a real eye-opened, and not just because we made some of our top travel mistakes there. The Meenakshi temple in Madurai and Brihadeeshwara temple in Thanjavur left us awestruck with their intricacy, history and unique religious inclusion. Seeing these ancient millennia-old temples up close, and knowing the influence their builders have had even beyond India, was incredible.
Read: Millennia back in time: The magnificent temples of Madurai and Tanjore in South India
The carved granite pillars in the main hall of the Pudhumandapa pilgrim’s hall in Madurai
This magnificent forgotten necropolis is a must-see in Hyderabad
Chances are, whenever someone mentions the word ‘tombs’ in Hyderabad, you immediately think of the Qutb Shahi tombs. The Paigah nobles may have lived later and served under the Nizams, but they were probably just as rich as the Qutb Shahi kings that ruled a hundred years before them. Sadly, hardly anyone in Hyderabad has heard of the Paigah tombs, the last resting place for generations of the Paigah nobility. I had paid them a visit a few years ago, with a visiting cousin from abroad, and had some nice photographs too. So I decided that my first real post about something Hyderabadi would be to write about them. And maybe this post would help people rediscover this part of Hyderabad’s heritage.
Read: This magnificent forgotten necropolis is a must-see in Hyderabad
The capstone of a grave at the Paigah tombs, with a carved marble lattice in the background
6 unexpectedly great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The idea to write a post on vegetarian-friendly restaurants actually came from an Instagram follower. So I decided to try my hand at putting together a list of our favourite places to eat. A lot of these were places that we used to frequent even before turning vegetarian. As it turned out, they serve great vegetarian food too. I had great fun putting together this first ‘restaurant review’ sort of article, and it seems people had great fun reading it too!
6 unexpectedly great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
Conçu Cucina’s excellent mushroom tortellini.