Outside Context travel writing has been featured on some of the world’s top websites. Articles have been purchased by Airlines, featured in iPhone Apps, published as questions in degree level English examinations and comments have been posted by everyone from Lonely Planet writers to US Special Forces Lieutenant Colonels!

Endings and Beginnings – Basho and Cesca return home from their adventures

By |November 4th, 2013|

Endings are actually beginnings too. This is what I told myself as I sat in the tiny, oh so tiny, room in Osaka. It’s one of those glass half empty or half full sort of things.

The reality of what we had done was before me and it came in […]

Kyoto, Nara, Himeji, green tea and finding inner peace

By |October 6th, 2013|

I have written before about travellers wanting a point to it all, to travelling. In part this is perhaps seen as them wanting to justify the vast cost of travel; to have a point for spending all that money, or – as commonly happens – someone else’s money. But, […]

The Zen Gardens, Our First Days in Kyoto

By |June 20th, 2013|

The bullet train pulled smoothly and serenely into the station, totally belying the speed it had demonstrated when blistering through the Japanese countryside.

As I stepped down into the shiny and neat Kyoto station the entire history of Zen Buddhism flashed through my mind. In short: this city was the […]

Mount Fuji, Tokyo and the 200 mph Bullet Train

By |May 3rd, 2013|

I wallowed comfortably in the exceedingly warm waters, the balmy mountain air was cool and smelled of the rich wood my surroundings were constructed from. I was butt-naked and in my first real Japanese onsen, the famous hot bath houses of these islands. The small courtyard contained a number […]

Tsukiji Fish Market, Adventures in Sushi and the Edo-Tokyo Museum

By |April 28th, 2013|

4am in Tokyo, Japan trickled around and we were ready to go. We skipped breakfast and headed down to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market.

It opened at 5:30am and back then you could wander in free. Now, you have to pay and cannot arrive before 9am, but we were one […]

Tokyo: Akihabara, Asakusa and Shibuya

By |April 18th, 2013|

Tokyo, like Beijing and especially like Delhi, is a city that one could spend a lifetime in and never feel a sense of completion. The Japanese way of doing things enhances this feeling with wards (districts) dedicated to different aspects of the culture.

How these districts come about is fascinating. […]

Arriving in Japan

By |April 13th, 2013|

I have always looked at maps of the world and wondered if they skew perspective. America appears massive while Australia and India are diminished and Japan… well, miniscule. Even when I was young, I knew somehow that reality didn’t concord with this portrayal. I know now, for example, that […]

The Purpose of Travel

By |April 2nd, 2013|

We often take arriving at the destination to be the purpose of travel. Taken in this way the journey itself is not the point, rather it is the serious business of transporting our bodies from one place to another. Getting to the end location as quickly as possible is […]

Beijing and the Great Wall – Our final days in China

By |March 23rd, 2013|

“So,” said Cesca loudly and clearly, just as I was drinking from a water bottle, “What’s all this about China and Tiananmen Square?”

I almost did a spit take.

“Quiet!” I said and I looked around, wiping water running down my chin. Yes, we were standing bang in the middle of […]

China’s National Treasures – Pandas and the Terracotta Warriors

By |March 11th, 2013|

Everyone loves Pandas and at the Panda Conservation Centre near Chengdu, China is probably the best place to see them in the world.

Watching them reminded me of the Douglas Adams quote:
“…On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than [Pandas] because he had achieved […]

Mount Wudang and the Meaning of Life

By |February 12th, 2013|

In China, Daoist temples atop mountains are so numerous that there must be something about these high places that answers a longing for cliff edges and being above the clouds. A simplistic analysis of this, one using that most ignoble of human faculties; the so-called common sense, would say that […]

Tiger Leaping Gorge & Lijiang

By |October 29th, 2012|

Flanked by several enormous mountains, Tiger Leaping Gorge is top contender for the deepest gorge in the world. The upper road of the gorge makes for some breath-taking hiking and winds slowly up the edge of the left side ridge, through villages, past the odd farm and eventually, after […]

Yaks for tea and Tibetan Temples. Living the high life in Shangri-la

By |September 21st, 2012|

“You have to imagine,” said the man in broken English, “that this…” he gestured his hands at the view in front of us, “big lake… […]

China: Li River to Shangri-La

By |August 19th, 2012|

At one point in our journey I actually advocated to Cesca that we skip China. That she didn’t listen, and talked me round, proves clearly that […]

Hong Kong : The Most Photogenic City in the world

By |August 6th, 2012|

Certain cities in the world are instantly recognisable from hundreds of classic movies that have been set there. No one could mistake Paris, New York […]


By |June 8th, 2012|

Very little survives a man’s death. I have commented before that most of the “Great’s” from history did not write much down for themselves and […]

The day I met the Buddha, and killed him

By |April 28th, 2012|

Delhi. Many people say they have “done” Delhi, but in all honesty they haven’t. They have perhaps done the tourist parts of New Delhi, or […]

Shimla mountains and a happy meeting

By |April 24th, 2012|

Breaking out of the Backpacker Bubble in India

Jaipur, the Kalka–Shimla Railway and onto Shimla

By |March 4th, 2012|

I sat on the balcony and considered the view. The remote 7800ft high mountain town of Shimla flowed over the hills in front of our hotel. The roofs were the playgrounds of large collections of violent monkeys that tumbled and swung over the closely knitted but strangely British architecture.

That […]

Hong Kong City Blues – Special Edition

By |January 6th, 2012|

This is a “Special Edition” of my Hong Kong at night film. The beautiful skyline of Hong Kong at night! Come with us through the […]

Jaisalmer, sandcastle of India

By |November 10th, 2011|

Jaisalmer is a town located 575 m west from the state capital Jaipur. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert

On the road, and neatly tucked into our bus seats, we were also well placed for scamming. A guy came up to Wendy and handed her a phone. […]


By |October 12th, 2011|

Cesca left me snoozing in our room and went out to the roof top café/restaurant to take some photos of the city. The city is […]

It Shouldn’t Happen to a Backpacker: The Moth Story

By |August 11th, 2011|

As a traveller you know, and even expect, the unknown to occur. You want this; for some it’s the whole point of leaving their home […]


By |July 9th, 2011|

Udaipur is famous for many reasons. To those in the west it is mostly known for its gleaming white Jag Niwas hotel found in the […]

Agra and the Taj Mahal

By |June 1st, 2011|

Ask a hundred people where in the world they would like to visit most of all and a significant percentage of them will say Agra, […]

Varanasi – City of the Hindus

By |April 6th, 2011|

Many Indian cities are a jumble, a mix of the ancient and modern, but nowhere I have ever been compares in this regard to Varanasi. […]

Tuk Tuk in the dark – A journey into Varanasi

By |March 23rd, 2011|

There was only one time in our journey around India that I didn’t feel entirely safe, one moment where I thought to myself, “Ah, this […]

Bodh Gaya Part 2 and onwards to Sarnath

By |February 15th, 2011|

Eating food in India is no joke. On one hand there are high-end coffee cafes that have prices that could only make sense to the […]

Bodh Gaya and the Tree of Enlightenment

By |January 28th, 2011|

“Who are your inspirational hero’s?” I asked a friend. “Dunno. King David, I guess, would be one.” “Awesome answer,” I said impressed that he hadn’t […]

Kolkata (Calcutta) – the black hole of India

By |January 17th, 2011|

here are two questions I am most asked about travelling the world. The first is, “What was our favourite place?” This is by far the […]

Varkala & Holi : Kerala part two

By |November 22nd, 2010|

Varkala is a very popular tourist destination with western travellers. Similar to Goa in many respects, it is a large beach front collection of Happy […]

Kerala, the heat and the wonder of Southern India: part one

By |November 10th, 2010|

Kerala the beautiful; the green of a million palm trees, the blue of warm waters. Kerala the red of the sun at set; its light […]

This Is India Podcast 2

By |September 2nd, 2010|

Welcome back!

This is the second podcast in the This Is India collection. It tells of Cesca and my journey high above the sweltering plains of India to the mountain retreat of Ooty. We recorded it last night and both really enjoyed revisiting what was one of the most pleasant […]


By |July 26th, 2010|

“Can you take us to this hotel please?” I asked the tuk tuk driver. He shook his head, “No, that hotel burned down.” “Burned down? […]

Basho and Cesca visit Bangalore, and kind of wish they hadn’t

By |May 20th, 2010|

Bangalore is a strange place because it is just like cities at home. Almost slap bang in the middle of India, it sits like a […]

This Is India Podcast

By |March 24th, 2010|

Hello and welcome to an experiment!

Cecsa and I have sat down and recorded a podcast of our time in Anegundi in India. This is a total-first for us and so please strap yourself in as we try and capture our feelings about the amazing Hampi area without really knowing […]

Outside Context New Zealand articles now on iPhone

By |March 17th, 2010|

The most common question I have been asked by people after returning home is, “which was your favourite country to visit?” For Cesca and I […]

Goa: The Beach Life

By |February 24th, 2010|

I lay on my back and tried to relax. The sound of rolling waves crashed back and forth in the distance, which helped. However, the […]

The Ellora Caves

By |February 18th, 2010|

One of the unique things about India, and one that you never quite come to terms with, is the trains. I would even go as […]

Sunset in Mumbai

By |February 10th, 2010|

The November terrorist attacks on Mumbai was something we had worried about before landing in the city, but to look at the place it was […]

Wudang Mountain: A Basho Film

By |February 2nd, 2010|

In 2009 Cesca and I visited the amazing slopes of Wudang Mountain. The mountain is located roughly in northwestern part of Hubei Province of China.  This peak is part of the larger Wudang Shan mountain range that runs through the area, but it is this particular peak that is the most famous. This is due […]

This is India

By |January 23rd, 2010|

I flipped out my phone and called the hotel. We were waiting outside the Mumbai airport, it was late, dark and the pickup area was […]

Our Pilgrimage to Gandhi

By |January 19th, 2010|

**UPDATE – LOTS OF NEW IMAGES!* Welcome back to the travel blogging. Our amazing, 12 month, around the world journey had so far taken us […]

Bangkok and the Railway of Death

By |January 1st, 2010|

Many people speak of trekking in the north of Thailand, but such over-popular options are not the flavour we go for. Instead, we had read […]

Bangkok, city of a thousand names

By |December 10th, 2009|

Thailand, again we arrived in Thailand, but this time by air. The siege of Bangkok airport, which had messed us about so much the last […]

Hanoi, Halong Bay and Tet New Year – Part Three!

By |December 1st, 2009|

The travel blogging is back! Note: This is the third part of a complete three part article that completes our time in Vietnam. This entry […]

Basho’s 5 Amazing Spider Encounters From Around The World

By |November 23rd, 2009|

Introduction and warning Travelling in the hotter parts of the world brings you mano a monster with all sorts of creatures that you’re not used to. […]

Hanoi, Halong Bay and Tet New Year – Part Two

By |November 12th, 2009|

Note: This is the second part of a complete three part article that completes our time in Vietnam. We continue with our trip into Halong […]

Hanoi, Halong Bay & Tet New Year – Part One

By |November 6th, 2009|

The travel blogging is back! Note: This is the first part of a final three part article that completes our time in Vietnam. The next […]

Rohan pillow talk: Guest Post 3 for Rohan Clothing

By |October 25th, 2009|

This is a cross post written by Basho, originally posted on Why this train? This night on this train? The Calcutta to Delhi train […]

Rohan Anywear Always – Guest Post 2 for Rohan Clothing

By |October 18th, 2009|

This is a cross post written by Basho, originally posted on Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. Escaping to the cool of the mountains was […]

Varanasi City of Gods – Special Edition

By |August 20th, 2009|

How does it make one feel to be in one of the most “holy” cities in the world?

The Buddhist Wallpaper Collection

By |July 16th, 2009|

Donate to orphans and download now!

Hoi An and Hue

By |June 28th, 2009|

The gems of Vietnam?

Vietnam: Cu Chi, the Mekong and Nha Trang

By |June 11th, 2009|

We meet with the crazy Cao Dai!

Hong Kong City Blues : A Basho Film

By |June 4th, 2009|

The magical night skyline of Hong Kong

Vietnam – Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh city

By |May 28th, 2009|

Our mental historical maps get changed forever

Laos, the gem of Indochina – a cultural connection

By |May 21st, 2009|

The missing Laos post by Cesca is found

Guest post for Rohan clothing

By |May 18th, 2009|

A few weeks ago the CEO of Rohan clothing emailed me and asked if I would write them a guest post about for their new website

Cambodia – devils and angels

By |May 14th, 2009|

Despair and hope in the Cambodian capital

Khmer Temple Photo Special

By |May 7th, 2009|

Khmer temple images from our collection

Cambodia – Journey to Angkor

By |April 30th, 2009|

Spiderville stands between us and the wats, can we escape the 8 legged freaks?

Temples of Angkor : A Basho Film

By |April 18th, 2009|

We visit the amazing Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Laos P.D.R. – Mekong meanderings

By |April 11th, 2009|

“Life is a musical thing and you’re supposed to sing or dance along the way"

Tracking the Predator : A Basho Film

By |April 2nd, 2009|

Get up close with a wild Tiger!

Laos PDR – history & heart

By |March 19th, 2009|

Our Journey continues into the Heart of South East Asia: Laos!

The American War

By |March 5th, 2009|

The after effects of the war in South East Asia

An Island Nation

By |January 19th, 2009|

Existence by virtue of land and sea

Lets go tubing! A Basho Film

By |January 17th, 2009|

"Lets go tubing!" This video highlights the crazy day my friends and I had while tubing the legendary Mekong river in Vang Veng, Laos, South East Asia in November 2008.

Malaysia: Highlands to Langkawi

By |January 12th, 2009|

Heaven is but a boat journey away...

Malaysia: Melaka to Kuala Lumpur

By |January 5th, 2009|

"Tuk Tuk, sir?"

Singapore: Gateway to SE Asia

By |December 27th, 2008|

The hottest cold city in the world!

New Zealand WWOOFing at Furneaux Lodge

By |December 3rd, 2008|

Will the second time be any better than the first?

New Zealand : A Basho Film

By |November 20th, 2008|

A short (10 minute) film highlighting New Zealand. Includes whales in Kaikoura, Fjords, Glaciers by Helicopter, The far north, the Volcanic heart, the sounds and a trip through the forests of this magical country!

The Volcanic Heart

By |November 17th, 2008|

Central North Island simmers and steams, bubbles and spews...

Mountains of New Zealand

By |November 12th, 2008|

Bilbo: "I want to see mountains again, mountains Gandalf!

Northland: Part Two

By |November 3rd, 2008|

Basho and Cesca meet Tane Mahuta - The God of the Forest

North to Cape Reinga

By |October 30th, 2008|

We visit New Zealand's great beach - 90 miles of freedom!

Fear is the mind killer

By |October 21st, 2008|

Cesca skydives 15,000ft and Basho jumps the 134m highwire Nevis bungy!


By |October 13th, 2008|

Basho and Cesca visit the largest city in New Zealand

Welcome to New Zealand

By |October 10th, 2008|

We fall in love in the real MiddleEarth!

Travel Blogging Kit List

By |October 1st, 2008|

A writers guide to what to take!


By |September 21st, 2008|

Victoria's mighty city of lights!

The Great Ocean Road

By |September 21st, 2008|

A driving journey of great beauty

The Ghan train, finding Franco and Adelaide

By |September 20th, 2008|

A train ride to remember!

A Basho Film : Australia

By |September 15th, 2008|

A short fun film highlighting our trip to Australia, showing some of the fantastic things we saw in this wonderful country. A tribute to the nation before we move on to New Zealand…

Oh! comments about the new intro welcome!

Kangaroo Island WWOOFing

By |September 7th, 2008|

WWOOFing for the 1st time on KI

A Basho Film: Colours of Uluru

By |September 7th, 2008|


Here is the latest short film for your enjoyment.  This one shows our amazing time at Uluru over sunset and sunrise.  See how the colours of the rock change in response to the light!

As always comments are most welcome,



The Sanctuary

By |September 7th, 2008|

We find bliss in the rain forests of Australia

Uluru and The Outback

By |September 2nd, 2008|

Beating about the bush! AKA: "A dingo stole my marshmallows!"

Byron Bay

By |August 21st, 2008|

The wonder of Byron Bay!

A Basho Film: Blue Hunter

By |August 20th, 2008|

Here is the next in the line of Basho Films.

I am working hard on the next one and have something a little special in mind from then on.  I love creating them and hope to show some vastly improved technique over the coming months!  I have some simply amazing […]

The Great Barrier Reef

By |August 19th, 2008|

Diving on the PADI Advanced course!

Australia Zoo

By |August 15th, 2008|

We visit the home of The Crocodile Hunter, Crikey!

The Hunter Valley

By |July 28th, 2008|

All praise the god of wine!

A Basho Film: Sydney Harbour!

By |July 27th, 2008|

Thanks for all the fantastic feedback on the last Basho Film! 

Here is the latest, I present Sydney Harbour!

There is already another to upload and many more to come including Australia Zoo!

If you like it please either leave a comment or digg/stumble it.



A Basho Film: San Francisco!

By |July 12th, 2008|

I finally found enough bandwidth to upload my first travel film; San Francisco! I hope you like it and all comments are very welcome.  This is the first of a ongoing set of films outlining our travels over the next year.  Next to come is Sydney (complete) and Hunter […]

The Blue Mountains

By |July 6th, 2008|

I can see my house from here!


By |June 30th, 2008|

Fantastic! Yeah, that'll be right!

San Francisco

By |June 25th, 2008|

24 hours in "The City!"

James’ Travel Packing

By |June 18th, 2008|

What do you need for a year long adventure?  Don’t ask me, it’s my first time!  Nevertheless, I am taking all this: Shown here is:

Leaving on a Jet Plane – don’t know when I’ll be back again!

By |June 11th, 2008|

The flat is empty – everything is in storage.

I leave work tomorrow for good – can’t wait!

The bags are packed – full to the brim for a year’s worth of travel!
Basho is going global.
On the 22nd of June, Cesca and I are leaving these shores to go on […]