The whole place was filled with adventure tours to global destinations, travel shops like Nomad and information about global sustainability and environmental responsibility.We spent the day learning about our destinations of choice in SE Asia and left weighed down with travel guides, magazines and leaflets galore to provide yet more inspiration for our plannings.
The most inspirational thing there, however, was not the glossy mags and perfect pictures of tropical paradise hanging at the back of almost every stand. It was the talks. Some of them inspired me to be more careful with recycling and encouraged me to think more about the impact my choices have on the world. Emily Penn, from Pangaea Exploration, gave a wonderful talk about plastic pollution in the ocean – never again shall I be guilty of taking a plastic carrier bag from Sainsbury’s!
My favorite talk was certainly that of Leon McCarron, who invited us to join him on his walk through the Empty Quarter. Basically, him and a mate built a cart, dropped it in the middle of the desert and walked to Abu Dhabi. Clearly, there was a little more to it than that. The incredible heat, the endless miles of sand and the ever changing landscape. It was fascinating and really got Graham and I excited about all the possibilities for the road ahead.
At the end of the how, weight down like pack horses, the two of us mooched over the road to the Alborz Restaurant, a charming Persian place, just over the road from the exhibition hall. Here we sat in almost silence, save the odd “check this out” and “WOW! Holy cow lets go here!” as we pointed enthusiastically at pictures in our magazines. The food here was great. Our mixed started was served with fresh flat bread, baked right in front of us, the Kashk O Bademjan was delicious! For main I had the sea bass. It was good, but if I find myself there again I would probably give something else a try.
It took us 2 hours to get home to our (very far) North London flat, but with our noses in magazines it seemed like nothing! We will certainly be going to some more of the travel shows coming up in London over the coming month!