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Welcome to Palin's Travels I always wanted to be an explorer, but until September 25, 1988, it seemed I was doomed to be nothing more than a very silly person. On that day I set out on a journey which was to change my life. It became a book and television series called Around The World In Eighty Days, and with one bound, it transformed me from being a very silly person to being a very silly explorer. Eighty Days led to Pole to Pole, which led to Full Circle, which led to the Hemingway Adventure which led to Sahara, and suddenly I found I had a half-dozen very full passports and personal acquaintance with over eighty countries.

Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected for the rest of my life.

I have been extraordinarily lucky to have my travels recorded on film by the best camera and sound teams in the business, ably backed up by Basil Pao, the finest stills photographer in the business. I have filled dozens of little black notebooks with my ramblings about the beauty of the world and talked into stacks of mini-cassettes with my impressions of delights, digestive problems, dodgy trains and near death experiences.

Now, exactly fourteen years to the day since I left the Reform Club in London to try and go Around The World In Eighty days, I am about to disembowel myself and let all the material we have collected in over a hundred thousand miles of travel come spilling out onto a new and as yet uncharted ocean.

Itís called www.palinstravels.co.uk. and from today you can wallow, crawl, body-surf or gently breast-stroke through an enormous amount of information on what there is to see in the wonderful world out there.

For the first time, a totally A-mazing cross reference system, created by experts working twenty-four hours a day for over seventy years, will enable you at the twitch of your fingery nerve endings, to find out how often Iíve been drunk, how many meals Iíve failed to keep down, how many Poles Iíve stood on, and how many times Iíve stroked a cheetah (to save you time, once). If your preference is food or booze or nature or history you can instantly have the choices in front of you, without having to carry around a heavy book and lick your fingers as you search helplessly through each page. So palinstravels.co.uk is not only more informative but hygienically sound as well.

And this is only the beginning. My latest series Sahara with Michael Palin, which hits the TV screens on BBC 1 on October 13 will soon be deconstructed and added to the site, as will the Hemingway Adventure, broadcast and published three years ago.

And I donít always travel with a film crew poking me about. I hope that palinstravels.co.uk will enable me to share with you some of the places I slunk off to when the BBC wasnít looking, as well as some of the dream destinations I still yearn to see.

palinstravels.co.uk. is just as much of a step into the unknown as were the steps of the Reform Club in London on another September 25th Ė fourteen years ago today.

So welcome. Itís great to have you on board. And like all good journeys, Iíve no idea quite where itíll take us. By the way, you donít snore do you?

Michael Palin's signature

Michael Palin, 25th September 2002.