In China, we are Foreign Tourists, with a capital FT. There is no way to disguise it, to pretend we belong here, to go unnoticed in a crowd. Still, we are surprised by how rare the sight of a non-Asian tourist is on the streets of Beijing. So much so, that after a few days, we start to do as the Chinese do, and gape openly at any white people we see.
Across the world, mountaineers, adventurers and explorers continue in increasing numbers to pit themselves against nature, push the boundaries of possibilities and, when successful, enjoy the sheer exhilaration of conquering and achieving a major goal. It is a raw and empowering feeling that is hard to compare in our increasingly sanitized, consumerist and materialistic society.
The fact that the deaths were of a father and son that stirred the emotions and headlines. How could such a highly experienced mountaineer continue leading his own son up the mountain in such dangerous snow conditions that every other team on the mountain - 19 foreign climbers and six Nepalese Sherpas - aborted their summit attempt and turned around?
Every summer families across Europe take out their hiking boots, grab a backpack and put on their sunhats for a family adventure in the great outdoors. Whether your family prefers a gentle amble along flat forest paths, or a more challenging climb up rugged hillsides, Europe is full of amazing hiking destinations that are ideal for kids.
On a bike tour, the discomfort caused by lack of food, tough roads, and bad weather makes the comfort given by great meals, relaxing stops, and warm beds all the more pleasurable. Stephen and I have just finished the first leg of our world cycling tour, riding from Rome to Russia, and we've had the chance to discover a little greatness in every country we've seen.
The range of adventure in Uganda is wide and hair-raising. Activities include game viewing, fishing trips, water fall cruises, silverback gorilla safari treks, white water rafting, African rainforest camping, chimp trekking and swamp walking. So having two days off to enjoy the country, of course I, chose the sedate activity of cruising down the Nile.
Curiosity is what drove my inaugural voyage into ultra endurance running. Me and my friend Max had always dreamed of travelling across the world since we were school children, when we left college we adorned our backpacks bought our tye- dyed t-shirts and joined the ranks of the gap years masses. But when we returned we wanted more.
Let me start by explaining my weight gain... Sometimes, travelling can be boring. I won't go into details, as that's another subject for another day, but on days that I just don't feel like being cultured or touristy, I have a lot of spare time on my hands. Being young and British, I (more often than not) spend that time drinking, smoking and eating far more than I should.
Culture shock is defined as 'the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes', and can be particularly affecting if travel itself is an unfamiliar experience. Yet travel is a means of experiencing new things and meeting new people; it's a way to find yourself as well as a discovery of the unknown.
Responsible travel is having an awareness of the global community in which we live and employing this awareness on a local scale. It is a type of travel that involves an ethos of being culturally aware and environmentally responsible, as well as conscious of the economic factors that we contribute to as travellers.