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Thank you for visiting my site. You've come to the right place to find out where you can read, hear and see my work, and to contact me about travel.

I spend most of my time on holiday pretending to work, which is a very fortunate way to live. But as a generation we 21st-century travellers are extraordinarily privileged to be able to see so much of the world in safety; in previous centuries most people travelled only for war or pilgrimage (and sometimes for both at the same time). These days, the main reason to travel is to meet people in peace.

And the best way to do that is to travel in a way that does not isolate you from the host community. In general, the thickness of the mattress is in inverse proportion to the proximity of the people.

The cheaper you travel, the closer you get to the soul of a place. At The Independent (where I have now been on the travel desk for so long they call me "senior travel editor”), I have the strap-line “The man who pays his way” because I don't accept free transport or accommodation from the travel trade. As a result of this somewhat curious and eccentric policy, I tend to meet a lot of very interesting folk. The people with the best stories to tell live life in the cheap seats.

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