Toward the end of last year I was contacted by the publisher Dorling Kindersley and invited to contribute to one of its titles, Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel. Over six months I wound up writing four out of its seven chapters. The book is – in the word’s of the company’s marketing department – a lavishly illustrated account of human journeys from Ancient Persian couriers to the ascent of Everest, the invention of Concorde, and the voyage into space itself. The scope of the book is immense and the topics on which I have written are mind-bogglingly diverse, from retellings of the voyages of explorers including Cook, Darwin, Burke and Wills, Lewis and Clarke, and Humboldt, to pieces on desert, polar and undersea exploration, ground-breaking expeditions into Africa, Siberia and Central Asia, the invention of the bicycle, the camping craze, the Romantics, Thomas Cook, the first round-the-world voyagers, three different golden ages of travel, world’s fairs, early guidebooks, the overland hippy trail, Route 66 and low-cost airlines. Of course, there are also spreads on the West’s ‘discovery’ of Egypt, Orientalism, grand hotels and even luggage labels. It was an absolute joy to write and the finished book looks stunning too. It is a brute of a thing, 360 pages heavy and 300 x 252mm in size. Maybe the content is too general to satisfy historians and specialists, but for anybody with a general interest in the history of travel, it is an absolute must. Journey is out in early October.