For Jonathan Marque, true joy resides in exploring new places, meeting new people, and embracing new views. An analyst by profession, he recently took a sabbatical to travel around the world. Taking on the road with his friend, he set out to explore Thailand and Cambodia this year.
He’s already covered Japan, Vietnam, and South Africa and hopes to travel to Northeast India and South American soon. We chatted with him to know his take on travel and more.
- Hey Jonathan! Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you’ve been up to.
I’m Jonathan Marques, 33 and currently based out of Mumbai and Goa. I have been working as an analyst in the Energy and Oil & Gas sectors for about a decade, but am currently on a sabbatical since a few months to explore new avenues, specifically sustainable living and Permaculture design.
- What initially sparked your journey?
I love the thrill, excitement and experience of a new place, its food, people, culture and natural beauty. Every trip has only helped widen my horizons and at the same time make me realize that people are innately the same all over. I love travelling and catching up annually with one of my best friend, Ryan, who otherwise lives in the UK, and we started off with Vietnam in 2016 and have also done trips to South Africa and Japan. We’re currently visiting Thailand and Cambodia.
- What has your journey been like?
My current trips to Thailand and Cambodia have been wonderful and exciting so far. Bangkok is vibrant and has a very cosmopolitan vibe, and the options for food are endless. We did explore Patong for its loud and thrilling hit-you-in-the-face atmosphere like the Bangla road. I have always loved plants and trees and to see massive roots of trees taking over temples like the Ta Prohm and Preah Khan was breathtaking and astounding! The Bayon temple which has numerous gigantic human faces left me awestruck.
The whole aura of the Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples and forests is magical and mystical. Cambodia has a dark history with mass genocide of three million of its people by the Khmer Rouge and has always been ravaged by occupation by world powers at various times, the Vietnam war and even landmines to this day. So, a visit to its war museum was eye-opening just like the war museum in Saigon in Vietnam.
Cambodia has a dark history with mass genocide of three million of its people by the Khmer Rouge and has always been ravaged by occupation by world powers at various times, the Vietnam war and even landmines to this day. So, a visit to its war museum was eye-opening just like the war museum in Saigon in Vietnam.
- What are some interesting aspects of your travel?
It’s always been the people of a place, more than the sights and sounds that make it more special. My favourite memory is of being invited to a table of Vietnamese Urban Sketchers, all architects, while we were randomly walking the streets of Hanoi. We were treated to snails and local rice wine and the next day they even showed us around a beautiful old temple on the outskirts and a couple, Thuy and Lam, invited us to a Sunday family home-cooked dinner at their house with Karaoke and music. It wiill always remain one of my happiest memories.
- What are some future destinations you would like to explore?
I definitely have South America on my list – Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Patagonia but have to plan out accordingly. Would also love to explore the North-East region of my own country India.
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