Palin has become a British institution, reinventing himself in the post-Python years as everyone's favourite traveller. In an era where holidaying has become an excuse for booze, sex, and coarse behaviour, regimented by airlines, tour operators, and the lure of grotesque theme parks, Palin has demonstrated that travel and adventure can be a gentlemanly, gentle act. He appears genuinely interested in the people he meets, is able to convey a polite humanity and sense of wonder, and proves that you can travel the world without glossy brochures. Obviously, Palin and his team spent a lot of time planning this latest adventure, but he conveys a gentle, unstressed sense of travelling without worry or hurry. The Himalayas he explores is a fascinating, beautiful, awe-inspiring, and the scene of long-standing military flashpoints and cross border rivalry. The ruggedness of the countryside and of the peoples who inhabit this vast landscape comes across. Palin takes people as he finds them; his approach is anything but judgemental. It's a lesson we could all learn - maybe you won't get to the Himalayas next year, but next time you decide to just go for a quite walk in the country, pause to wonder at the world around you and smile at the people you meet. Palin is a wonderful ambassador for travelling and meeting people. The book of the TV series, beautifully illustrated, charming, good humoured, good natured, and a tonic in which you can indulge yourself over winter while you plan some sort of adventure for next year!