In the past few years, I have been doing loads of travelling and I thought it would be wonderful to write about some of the places I’ve been.
So in this book, you will join me as I sleep in the Amazon rainforest, mountain-bike down the deadly Death Road in Bolivia, enter ancient pyramids in Egypt, go cage-diving with sharks in Spain, drive a tug-tuk in India, fly over the mysterious Nazca lines in Peru and more.
But I don’t just talk about me. That would be boring! Like making someone look at all your holiday photos. No – I talk about the people behind these places too. All the extraordinary archaeologists, explorers, treasure hunters, scientists, adventurers and visionaries who truly lived their dreams. Like Ernest H Wilson, the boy who loved gardening and became one of the world’s greatest plant explorers, climbing into the wild mountains of China in search of the Ghost Tree. Or Johan Reinhard, who found an incredible ice mummy on the slopes of a volcano in Peru.
I write about my childhood, growing up in a tiny terraced house in Liverpool. How I used to escape by reading. That was how I first travelled – through my imagination. I still do it now! I open a book, start reading, and it’s like climbing out of the window and heading off on an adventure. I love it.
I wanted the book to look like a travel diary. I can’t draw well enough to have my pictures in a book, but I always take lots of photos. My lovely illustrator Alicia Walker copied many of these photos to do the illustrations. She worked incredibly hard.