After recently returning from another successful tour of Asia, Paul Raftery’s long awaited book, A Learning Curve, is due for release May 16, 2016. The founder of Noble Wordsmiths said, “This book has been a learning curve from more than one perspective. The title refers to me muddling my way through Asia, but it’s also helped me turn from part-time travel writer to fully fledged author, with the journey being an eye-opener on both counts.” Written over the course of several trips to Asia, spread over six years,
his story begins in Malaysia in the chapter ‘A Taste of Asia,’ recounting some of his past travel experiences that first led him to the Orient. With other intriguing chapter names such as ‘Caste My Net in India’ and ‘Back into the Dragons Den,’ it promises to offer an insight into Asian culture few Westerners get to hear about. Intertwined with some need to know tips, as well as things to avoid, the book offers information to its readers that the guide books don’t tell you.
The book runs along an interesting narrative and the reader can notice the shift in confidence from those shaky early days to his final realisation and discovery of what the author was searching for all along. This book is full of interesting history that offers some insights into Europe’s colonial past that may surprise some readers. A Learning Curve is an uncomplicated first attempt from the unknown author, who has a unique style of telling things how they are, with a carefully selected amalgam of
different stories from a first person perspective, to tales of ancient history and legends that can be easily followed, giving the book a kind of treasure map quality with Asia being the prize. An effortless book to read, it keeps to the basics and doesn’t try to impress with over specific facts, however it is packed full of interesting information for travellers and expats alike seeking some local knowledge. For people visiting Asia for the first time, it’s a must read.
“A Learning Curve is pretty easy going and can actually act as a guide for people wanting to travel around Asia, with interesting information about ancient cities and local customs. I am sure one day they will be issuing this book to foreigners as they get off the Aeroplane.”
Written by T.A. Prayerful
My journey would take me to Tamil Nadu in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula; a place that has always laid claim to its own unique history. Marco Polo himself referred to Tamil Nadu as the most splendid place on earth, containing lush forests and picturesque backwaters.
Often thought of as the birth place of religions and countless legends, the state of Tamil Nadu developed from the many coastal tribes throughout history, where a series of powerful empires rose up such as the Cholas, Pandyas, Chalukyas, Cheras and Pallavas, who often had long standing links with other civilisations including the Egyptians and Romans trading in spices, silk, ivory and pearls in exchange for Roman gold. In 1640, the British considered Tamil Nadu the most fertile part of the British Empire and setup trade links with India eventually developing several trade colonies.
Despite a lot modernisation in the last century, India has always been a work-in-progress within its prevailing cities and mass industry, though in its outer regions little has changed for centuries with many rural tribes still cultivating the land with the use of beasts of burden (mules, horses and other cattle). With a little help from the West during the 20th century, India has emerged as a vibrant and diverse modern country despite its apparent shortfalls when it comes to the problems of its sheer numbers, including homelessness and poverty.
Written by Paul Raftery
(Excerpt from A Learning Curve)