This book gives a short glimpse into the author’s colourful and adventurous life and beautifully describes his unusual journeys to remote and fascinating cultures. Its 384 pages include 14 handsome maps and 150 of his high quality colour photographs carefully integrated into the text. His 52 reports, versions of which originally appeared in The Herald, the Sunday Herald, The Scotsman, The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Sunday Times, are varied in character. Some are very dramatic, such as when he falls through the ice in Lake Baikal in Siberia, is attacked by a pack of dogs in Vanuatu in the Pacific, or is trapped on top of a derailed train in the Congolese jungle. Others are more descriptive and lyrical, for example when he travels up the Amazon River, climbs sacred Mount Emei in western China, or sails down the Niger River to Timbucktu in Mali. He paints captivating pictures of the landscapes and the people he encounters, and at the same time he puts them the history of the civilizations he meets. As a result, he lures the reader into a sensory — but always realistic — world of foreign sights, sounds and smells. His journeys reflect his desire, both in his life and his travels, to take risks, explore his limits, and go ‘beyond’.