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!

Losing Control, Releasing Nature – The Directors Cut!

By | July 12th, 2015|Basho Films, General, Travel|

In the last of my series of films re-examining my output over the last 10 years, I present the definitive edition of my film celebrating my wife’s silver gilt award at the RHS show. The background to the film was that Cesca’s Garden Design class had headed down to the [...]

Wudang Mountain – Climbing the Dao in China

By | February 16th, 2015|Basho Films, General, Travel|

A journey to Wudang Mountain; the small mountain range in the northwestern part of Hubei, China, just south of Shiyan. This film details the 20,000 steps up this magical mountain and the strange Daoist religious monastery atop. Through the clouds and out of oneself, you really feel a part of [...]

New Zealand – Country of Contrasts (Special Edition)

By | February 15th, 2015|Basho Films, Travel|

After watching LOTR for the first time I started a long journey of the heart. The first steps were the reading of the book itself, now and forever with the New Zealand landscape in my mind, followed by many years wondering if the real country actually looked like that. Many [...]

Chan Buddhism, Daoism and Zen – Journey through the East

By | May 17th, 2013|Philosophy, Travel|

Writing an article about Zen is almost a contradiction in terms. That is unless I simply leave the rest of it blank... Just a finger, pointing to the moon… But, I don't want to do that! At its basic level, Zen is an exotic a form of Buddhism. The Buddha lived [...]

Arriving in Japan

By | April 13th, 2013|Travel|

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 India [...]

China’s National Treasures – Pandas and the Terracotta Warriors

By | March 11th, 2013|Basho Films, Travel|

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 [...]

Gandhi

By | June 8th, 2012|Travel|

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 Gandhi is no different. For while he did write many letters (all available online) he did this not because he wanted to leave lessons for [...]

Shimla mountains and a happy meeting

By | April 24th, 2012|Travel|

When you travel through a country, especially if you are using a published travel guide, you are walking a well trodden path. Indeed maybe a thousand people are doing it with you simultaneously. This has a very strong effect over time, as more and more guest houses start catering only to the backpacker and spring up all along the route, which had myriad knock-on effects. Such as: taxi services who know the guide books better than you do and hordes of travellers at ever corner all "experiencing" the local atmosphere; all the time failing to realise that they are in a "bubble" like a Disney theme park ride.

Jodhpur

By | October 12th, 2011|Travel|

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 blue, blue of the Brahmin caste we were told, but I can’t help wondering if there is another reason for its popular -nay ubiquitous-shade. I [...]

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

By | August 11th, 2011|Travel|

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 in the first place. It’s usually to do with the fun stuff like walking the Great Wall, eating Sushi in Tokyo Fish Market or jumping off a bridge in New Zealand with only an elastic band to prevent your death.

Udaipur

By | July 9th, 2011|Travel|

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 middle of one of its many lakes. To the Indians themselves is it known as a home of the great Maharana family. To the travellers, [...]

Bodh Gaya Part 2 and onwards to Sarnath

By | February 15th, 2011|Travel|

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 gainfully employed. High-end coffee needs to be carefully metered out as it is too comforting and familiar a western experience to eat in such a cafe. Not only does it take you away from your local-encounters in this mighty country, but also takes a large amount of Indian coin from your purse and that directly affects how much you have to spend on the fun things.

Bodh Gaya and the Tree of Enlightenment

By | January 28th, 2011|Travel|

“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 picked a modern actor or, worse, a footballer. “How about you?” “My grandfather, Ghandi and the Buddha,” I said quickly. “You’ve obviously thought about this!” [...]

This Is India Podcast 2

By | September 2nd, 2010|Travel|

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 [...]

Mysore

By | July 26th, 2010|Travel|

In India, catching a tuk tuk and negotiating the fare – or even the simple existence of the destination – is a national pastime. Not one driver, in three months, took us where we wanted to go without comment, argument or an all out fight. At first, this grates on the nerves and then you cant help but be brought down by it. Then you feel victimised for being western and (relatively) rich. You start to think that they are all out to get you personally. However, it is none of these; it is an official sport. Take it as a sport, a sparring match, and you suddenly find it fun.

This Is India Podcast

By | March 24th, 2010|Travel|

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 [...]

Goa: The Beach Life

By | February 24th, 2010|Travel|

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 sun was beating down, heating the air and leaving me gasping like I had my head in an oven. It was also making the sand [...]

The Ellora Caves

By | February 18th, 2010|Travel|

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 far as to say that if you could understand Indian trains, then you might well lay claim to being truly at home in India. For [...]

Sunset in Mumbai

By | February 10th, 2010|Travel|

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 as though they had never happened. In any city with such a varied and ethnic population, it had probably not fully been disseminated. Sometimes, I [...]

Wudang Mountain: A Basho Film

By | February 2nd, 2010|Basho Films, Travel|

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 to [...]

This is India

By | January 23rd, 2010|Travel|

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 badly lit by the low lightbulbs common all over the country. There was a long line of waiting taxi drivers all holding placards, but none [...]

Rohan Anywear Always – Guest Post 2 for Rohan Clothing

By | October 18th, 2009|Travel|

This is a cross post written by Basho, originally posted on www.rohantime.com Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. Escaping to the cool of the mountains was essential after the 40 degree heat of the deserts of Rajasthan. Up here the bright sun is tempered with the breeze blowing off the snow [...]

Vietnam – Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh city

By | May 28th, 2009|Travel|

Vietnam was always on our list of countries to visit, but I must admit to having been slightly nervous about it. Not because it was Communist or “different” from home- by then, Cesca and I had been through all sorts of strange cultures including Muslim nations, Eastern Block style Communist havens and even Australia. What was actually getting us nervous was the constant reports from our friends about the Vietnamese unfriendliness. Time and time again people, who had already been through Vietnam, would display a sort of nervous laugh and glance at each other before answering our questions. This was exacerbating our reaction to another incident right back before we even left English shores.

Cambodia – devils and angels

By | May 14th, 2009|Travel|

One of the things that strikes you in Cambodia is the lack of any social services. Thus, it is very common to be approached by beggars missing various limbs or even their eyesight. Indeed, it is so common that since experiencing Cambodia I have been totally impervious to other countries beggars; none could reach the suffering of these poor souls.

The American War

By | March 5th, 2009|Travel|

They say the better part of travelling is meeting the people from the countries you visit.  They do not say how much that meeting will affect you, neither how heartbreaking such encounters can be.  The first time I met a one legged man in Laos, while visiting COPE – the charity for the war injured, I asked him how he lost his leg? “The American’s took it,” he replied.

Malaysia: Melaka to Kuala Lumpur

By | January 5th, 2009|Travel|

Our first port of call in Malaysia was the UNESCO town of Melaka, which is nestled on the west coast of the peninsula below Kuala lumpur.  The journey from Singapore to the town was uneventful being mainly two good roads (the 1 and the 5), but I was feeling an increasingly vivid sense of excitement about truly getting into SEA and taking that first footsteps on our journey. 

Singapore: Gateway to SE Asia

By | December 27th, 2008|Travel|

The hottest cold One of the first things that hits you on arrival to Singapore airport is the intense cold.  Litres of Icy cold air is blasted at you from almost all directions from a myriad of air-conditioning machines the size of skyscrapers and it is quite nice to get outside and experience a little heat for a while.  Air-conditioning has been taken to new heights by the Singaporeans, indeed the entire Tube system is frosty cold conditioned, as is every single mall and many of the pavement steps surrounding them.  To walk around Singapore is to be blasted by heat and cold at such extremes you wonder if you have wandered into a new form of torture.

Welcome to New Zealand

By | October 10th, 2008|NewZealand, Travel|

New Zealand is a country Cesca and I have longed to visit for many years. Tales speak of this island and its seemingly unique people. That they are more friendly than the most sociable of Australian’s, more “outdoors-loving” than even Scottish highlanders and more into extreme sports than anyone outside Cirque-de-soleil! Moreover, all of the “Kiwis” I have met have been the most persuasive of ambassadors as they have a deep and abiding love of their country, a great love of sporting life and and all of them stand a pint.