The world never fails to surprise - travelling can provoke so many different feelings; discovery, solitude, excitement, fear, sadness, happiness, joy, inspiration - the list is as endless as the places to explore. Whether it’s the wonder of the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia or the kindness experienced by Simon Calder on a bus in South Africa, our travelling experiences - the people we meet and the places we go - affect and shape us all in different ways. Even when our bags have long since been unpacked, we have memories, experiences and emotions that will stay with us forever.


Simon Calder, senior travel editor, The Independent
“The strongest emotional trigger is, of course, the people you meet. To encounter simple kindness and humanity at their most intense, board one of the minibuses that buzz endlessly between Johannesburg and Soweto in South Africa, where - as a stranger – you will be instantly adopted, accepted and advised about how to make the most of a location, where rights were once crushed but the human spirit now prevails.”


Gideon Coe, Presenter BBC 6 Music
“At seventeen I took the overnight train through France and then on to Valencia with two school friends. We spent three weeks learning Spanish, lazing on the beach and staying up all night. When it was time to leave and return to our final year at school and the imminent arrival of adulthood the three of us sat and wept.”


Ed Guiney, traveller
“We passed the crowds and the tour buses heading for the main temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to watch the sunrise, because the guide my wife and I were travelling with had suggested we continue on and head for Ta Prohm, another temple a little further off the beaten track. All alone we walked through the temple’s crumbling remain and huge walls twisted with giant Banyan tree roots that have become part of the temples themselves. For a time, it was just the three of us, surrounded by the early morning light filtering through the ancient temples - a magical experience.


Aoife O’Riordain, travel writer
“I’ll never forget the sheer terror I felt when I was charged by a very angry elephant. We were on a horse-riding safari in the depths of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, when just after a lazy lunch our small group saw a herd of elephant - some females and their offspring. Being on horseback meant we were able to get very close – an amazing experience - until one of the elephant got a bit protective of her calf and charged at full speed straight at us. Fortunately, the horse I was riding knew that galloping away was the only option - but I suppose it was a great story for around the camp fire later that night.”


Mary Masterson, traveller
“It had taken us three hours to ascend the steep uphill track to the revered Tiger’s Nest monastery that clings spectacularly to a mountainside in the Himalayas in Bhutan. A young Buddhist monk dressed in deep claret-coloured robes, greeted us when we arrived and offered to show us around. Our eyes had to adjust to the dark temples adorned with statues of Buddha and the many offerings surrounded by a sea of flickering butter lamps. When we emerged, we leaned over the monastery wall and gazed down into the valley far below – it felt like another world so far removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life with an almost other-worldly sense of peace”.