Your Voice: Kuala Lumpur – a great blend of the traditional and the modern

In our latest series interacting with One Planet Rating users, we connect with Shafiq Osmanzadah from Norway and get to understand his take on Sustainable travel.

A resident of Drammen, Norway, Shafiq is currently the CFO of a company in the Sustainable Foods sector. He loves travelling and has been lucky to have his work and studies involve travel across different countries. Besides travel, he loves reading and is a foodie. Also passionate about cooking, he enjoys experimenting with various cuisines, particularly Asian.

OPR: Sustainability could be Environmental, Social or Cultural. What does Sustainability mean to you?

Shafiq: Without complicating this term, I like to keep it simple. For me Sustainability essentially means Living to Maintain. We’ve been provided with abundance on this earth. And it is only obligatory on our part to respect this abundance. Every day you come across stories of depleting resources owing to our negligent ways, animals going extinct, essential resources getting wiped out. The more we are complicating our lives, the more disruptive we are being. I’ve recently had a kid and I know I want to inculcate habits in him from the beginning to respect what we’ve been given. We really just need to take a step back and go back to some of our basic ways of living essentially.

OPR: Your favorite travel destination?

Shafiq: That’s difficult. I love the cities of Stockholm and London. But one I can think of is Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The city is a great blend of accommodating culture in modern life (Does your city reflect it’s culture heritage? Our rating system on One Planet Rating allows you to evaluate a place based on its cultural interactions, heritage, architecture, amongst others).

The people of KL are proud of their heritage and it reflects so much in their ways, far more than any other major city I’ve been to. The food’s great and of such variety. And locals are just so involved wherever you go. I’ve been to a few of the islands too around KL including Langkawi, Penang and just love the feel of the place.

 Pictured above is the city of Kuala Lumpur 

OPR: What was your favorite part on the One Planet Rating platform?

Shafiq: I like the rating system. It’s simple and it’s diverse. Some of the rating criteria is just so so important to raise awareness. I particularly liked the social factors which is something we so often overlook on our travels. It would be nice to see this system adopted extensively which could actually give a realistic picture on travel, particularly behind what is obvious.

OPR: One fun travel memory you’d like to share.

Shafiq: My trip to Delhi was fun. It was my first trip to India and it was definitely different. It was overwhelming but also so diverse. I liked the historical feel of the city and yes the food.

 Pictured above is Qutub Minar in New Delhi

But the effects of increasing urbanization does shine through in Delhi. And I hope that’s something they are able to tackle soon.

OPR: How have you been incorporating Sustainability within your everyday life?

Shafiq: I’ve been lucky to be a citizen of a country where Sustainability is something we are introduced to from a very young age. And I also do try to carry these ways on my travels. I try travelling light as far as possible, shopping local, avoiding obvious menaces like plastic. It’s difficult sometimes but it needs to be done. I read your latest blog on the No Straws Attached movement and loved it. There’s a silent wave globally which is raising awareness across various issues which is great and we all knows there’s loads to be done.

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