Jono Vernon-Powell

My name is Jono Vernon-Powell, I am the  Founder/MD of Nomadic Thoughts (Worldwide Travel) – a travel company sending people abroad for over 36 years.

I have been blogging for over a decade, posting over 450 travel articles on destinations, subjects and tourism industry issues close to my heart. Publishing approximately 10,000 of my travel photos along the way (all photos in this blog have been taken by myself).

Travelling, and arranging holidays and trips for others, has been a constant element in my adult life. Developing and growing Nomadic Thoughts has been a great journey in itself and I am particularly proud that, in addition to numerous nominations, we have previously won the British Travel Awards’  ‘Best Small Worldwide Luxury Tour Operator Award’.

We have also won additional awards in ‘Best Destination’ and ‘Most Environmental & Socially Responsible’ travel categories. Nomadic Thoughts was also Runner Up in the Daily Telegraph ‘Best Small Luxury Tour Operator 2015’.

Regarding this blog: in addition to be nominated and shortlisted in this year’s British Travel Awards in the ‘Most Adaptive Blogger 2020‘ category, I was also thrilled to have been nominated for the ‘Best Travel Photography Blog’ in 2019. Furthermore, my blog was previously listed as a Responsible Tourism Awards nominee, with additional yearly selections in previous UK Blog Awards for ‘Travel & Photography’.

As we move past the impact of all things COVID-19, I remain passionate about the worldwide destinations we offer, firmly believing that tourism should be a force for good. Whether sharing time with village elders, communicating with the Press or moderating at an international travel conference, I endeavour wholeheartedly to embrace sustainable tourism.  Core to my belief is that every holiday and trip must enrich – in equal measure – both the traveller and the destinations they are visiting.

I am a Council member of the AITO (The Specialist Travel Association) – umbrella organisation for over 120 of Britain’s best independent tour operators). In addition to being the ex-Chair of their Climate Crisis Think Tank and sitting on the Tourism Industry Issues Committee, I was a founder member of their Sustainable Tourism Programme over two decades ago.

I am writing this blog to inspire you to travel, to share my love of photography and to offer topical information and comment on countries from all parts of the globe. My hope is that, along with many other clients, friends and fellow travellers, you too will come to regard Nomadic Thoughts as your first port of call for all things travel, whatever your aspirations, budget or dream for a ‘perfect escape’.

After all, I firmly believe, despite present day global uncertainties, this is truly the golden age of travel. Whether travelling by thumb (as highlighted in my BBC Radio 4 presentation), or private Learjet.

On a more personal note…

I live and work in London.

I am still available for selection to represent my country in all major sports. Respect all religions, practise none, yet embrace most. I have strong pacifist leanings, but will fight for my right to vote. I believe in the ‘power of travel’ to recognise, enhance and promote the practise of fundamental ‘human rights’, as well as encourage the development of friendly relations between nations.

Despite the momentary halting of international travel, due to COVID-19, I believe we are living during a golden age of travel, with a wider platform of cultural and environmental opportunities available to international travellers, than at any other time in the past or future.

I am married and have 24 year old twins, who have travelled across five continents embarking on more hotel and destination inspections than anyone in their right mind would want to do. I was a Director & Founder Trustee of New Lifeline – a registered UK charity previously supporting vulnerable children and young people through social, health and education programmes. Which, after 17 years, successfully managed to transfer all our local outreach work into the local community. I am keen photographer, qualified football & cricket coach, experienced conference moderator, event speaker and travel industry enthusiast.

Having travelled to over 70 countries:

  • My greatest claim to fame – once being closer to the sun than anyone else on planet earth
  • Travel Tip – lose the watch, bargain with a smile
  • CV – School, jobs, travel, jobs, travel, travel, Nomadic Thoughts … travel
  • Longest overland journeys – London-Cape Town (local transport – 1 year) … Hong Kong-Beijing-London (bus, truck, train – ½ year) … Vancouver-Quebec City (thumb – ½ month)
  • Longest train rides – Trans Siberian Express … Khartoum to Wau, The Sudan  … Darjeeling Toy Train
  • Favourite drives – Icefields Parkway, Rockies … Empty Quarter, Yemen … Great Ocean Road, Australia
  • Way to go water – Amazon by canoe … Nile by dahabiya … Kerala Backwaters by rice barge
  • Luxury stays – Riads … haciendas … tropical islands
  • Top views – North Face of Everest … beach sun-downer  … back of a child soldier’s roadblock
  • Best walks – Torres Del Paine, Patagonia … Annapurna Range, Nepal … GR20 Corsican High Route … Brecon Beacons.
  • Strange star beds – High Temple of Sacrifice, Temple IV Tikal … roof of Sub-Saharan train … guerrilla no-go zone
  • Food – Portuguese sardines … Las Pampas steak … Morton Bay bugs … Masala dosa
  • Anorak – I collect a present day bank note the first time I visit a country outside Europe … different script Coca-Cola bottles and football World Cups (I’ve been to the last ten)
  • Travel downtime – Photography … artefact hunting … Ashtanga yoga …  throwing/kicking/hitting a ball
  • Don’t forget – 16-310 mm camera lens … bottled water … ATM pin code

“Since my husband’s passing, my fondest memories are of when travelling on your trips”longstanding client.

“Jono, excellent – you deserve a wider audience and career in media” – Simon Reeve (TV Presenter & author).

“Follow me, we are going to shoot you” – Army officer, Africa.

“I wish I lived on a permanent Nomadic Thoughts holiday” – returning client.

“You have a lot of diseases”Asian medical consultant.