When a website ran a piece about him and Nala, his followers on Instagram (1bike1world) shot up from 3,000 to 150,000 in one day. After more media coverage, he had 800,000 followers across YouTube and Instagram. Strangers stopped him on the street and asked for selfies with Nala: “It beggared belief how many people had been touched by our little story,” he writes. But it was only when he began raising money for local animal welfare charities that Nicholson realised that something extraordinary was happening. A calendar featuring photos of Nala raised £90,000 for 30 charities: “She’d not only changed my world,” he writes. “She’d changed the world around me.”
As travel writing, Nala’s World is unexceptional. Whether kayaking in Santorini, chancing upon a refugee camp in Greece, or even fleeing his tent stark naked to escape a prowling bear in Turkey, Dean’s experiences are not so remarkable they justify a full-length book. However, as a chronicle of an extraordinary friendship between man and animal, and its unexpected consequences, it’s entirely delightful.