Inner engineering

An unforgettable ashram retreat that almost never was

After a chaotic Boxing Day in Kochi, where seemingly everyone in the city had come out shopping, I made my way to the Isha Ashram near Coimbatore, one of the largest and iconic ashrams in India. As a follower of Sadhguru’s teachings and having been dazzled by Mahashivratri celebrations in years prior, the ashram was at the top of my short list of places to…

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Indian Railways

The joys and horrors of train journeys in India

Six years have passed since my last overnight rail journey, but time hasn’t deterred my excitement for the chance to embark on several more. While all of my railway adventures in India barely lasted a single night, for some of those trips the end couldn’t come soon enough – but were an experience, nonetheless. Booking tickets Travelling via train in India is an experience unlike…

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Prayer flags

Studying Buddhism at a Tibetan monastery

Dharamsala, the co-capital of the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, was my base for a sizeable chunk of my trip. Dharamsala is notable for being the home of the Dalai Lama and where large numbers of Tibetans call home after sadly being exiled from their own country over the last half century.  A long twisty drive on a bus from Chandigarh through the smoggy fields…

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Comfortably uncomfortable

My latest adventure through India

Here we go again. I’ve been on another long adventure. It’s been a special journey that I feel incredibly fortunate to have undertaken. I told myself in the summer of 2022 that this was a winter I wasn’t to spend at home. The bleak lockdowns during the previous two winters and general robotic routine of working from home had caught up with me. I’d been…

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Run, Shonak, run!

My journey preparing for a marathon

Running for the first time during the first COVID lockdown proved to be transformative to my physical fitness. It became a staple in my weekly exercise routine – in fact, I can’t recall skipping a week in over a year. The rush and high at the end became quite addictive. I was quite content running my weekly 5K/10Ks, quietly setting a new personal best week…

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Looking up under lockdown

Keeping spirits high during these strange times

Yikes. Over a year without writing a blog post. Rest assured, I’m still alive and well, and I hope you are too. It’s probably the understatement of the year to say that life for us all has changed markedly over the past few months. It’s like we’re all stuck in a holding pattern, our lives seemingly on pause with lots of whispers of this being…

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Samboja Lestari

Giving a helping hand to some friends in Borneo

Those who know me well often groan when I subject them to my frequent ramblings about orangutans. As I’ve remarked on this blog before, I’ve long had a fascination with the human like tendencies of these great apes. Back in October 2019, I embarked on a two-week volunteering experience in Borneo. It was an action-packed trip, so brace yourself, this post is a long one….

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A rustic retreat

Research and relaxation in Bali

Back in October I jetted off yet again to South East Asia for a month-long combined holiday, volunteering and business trip across Indonesia and Singapore. Little did I know with the coronavirus raging across the world, this was to be my last overseas trip for some time to come. Here’s a recap of the first part of my trip as I visited the volcanic island of Bali…

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Rewilding Dundreggan

Joining Trees for Life on a conservation week in Scotland

The state of Earth’s forests has been of growing concern to me over the past few years. As the planet warms from the impacts of climate change, forests are our greatest natural weapon to counter rising carbon emissions and help us adapt to more volatile temperatures. Not to mention, they are home to over half of the earth’s biodiversity and wildlife. While the causes and rate of deforestation across the Amazon…

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Turning the tide

Success in my fight against single use plastics

We’ve been inundated this year about the impact of plastic pollution to the environment. Whether it’s images of sea creatures trapped in throwaway plastic containers or once pristine beaches now overcome with mountains of waste, it’s hard not to feel a sense of anger at the devastation that our wasteful society is inflicting on the natural world. As I’ve become aware of the plastics crisis…

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