Meditation is not something I could ever claim to have had any interest in, and Vipassana was jumping right in at the deep end. We were instructed to maintain ‘Noble Silence’ for the length of the course. That meant no talking, writing, reading, non-verbal communication or even eye contact with anyone for the whole 10 days.
Author Archives: jamesjohnson90
Quite possibly the strangest thing I have ever witnessed.
At Thaipusam Festival, devotees as young as six and seven are pierced with steel hooks and spears to thank the Lord Murugan for defeating an evil demon.
This was it! I had caught the wave, the rush of water sending me careering towards the beach. But I wasn’t surfing yet. I lifted my torso, hands flat on the board, wrists tight against my ribcage. Gaining speed I pushed down on the board, popping upwards, sliding my legs up the board to take […]
Ice and hail clawed at any exposed skin. Energy was low and the likelihood of developing frostbite was rising with every minute we spent at altitude. Through the blizzard, one of the team could be seen, most likely Ellis, but it was hard to tell. He took one laboured step, clearly exhausted. He knew he […]
It was clearly a vagina. A six-foot long, grey vagina, covered with short spikes and precisely positioned tentacles. Also, it seemed to be made of the same material as a child’s cuddly toy. It was obvious as I took my first steps into the Tate Modern, that this was going to be a struggle.
It’s no secret that when it comes to bike maintenance I have a lot to learn. Over a year living on a bike made me very good at making them go forward, I could do that just about all day. But when something went wrong, well, I just had to hope that nothing would go wrong.
On 20 June 2015, I cycled around a corner and found myself home after 13 months, 9202 miles, 1271 cycling hours, 19 countries, and three continents. As I rounded the corner I wasn’t alone, I was with Dora, of course, but I had also been joined by a couple of close friends, my two brothers and […]
My journey down California State Route 1 from San Francisco to LA started with a stone faced cop telling me that I wasn’t allowed to cycle down the freeway. Not a great start, and it wouldn’t be the last time I’d have words with law enforcement before I reached the City of Angels
In December 2014 I joined a few friends on a trip to Nagaland, Northeast India, and the Hornbill Festival. We ate strange food, we drank strange drinks and we got a glimpse of what life used to be like in Nagaland not so very long ago.
This was an entry I made for a travel writing competition. I didn’t win, but I hope you enjoy reading it.