Where we go is usually decided spontaneously; one of us might say, 'Let's do a wine trip in France;' or 'We should go to Angkor before it's overrun by tourists' ... The main thing is – we all love travelling, we all love food, and all of us enjoy each other's company.
Ritu Menon, publisher by profession and traveller by vocation, says she never travels alone when she travels for pleasure. So it is in the company of friends and family that she takes us on journeys across the world: wine-tasting in France; discovering the serenity of the Buddha in Bagan in Myanmar; roaming the leafy green streets of Zamalek in Egypt; tasting cream teas and cakes in Betty's Tearoom in York, and many other delightful experiences.
Along the way she manages to catch a glimpse of the people and politics that animate each of her travels: Egypt after the January 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak; Syria before the IS; the continuing heartbreak of Palestine; Turkey in transition; and Myanmar on the cusp of change.
Accompanied by sketches that bring alive the magic of those moments, this is a book that armchair travellers will savour, and one that will enthuse the more energetic to pack their bags and live the experience themselves.