Travel, if one believes travel writers and their favourite aphorisms, is close to a moral obligation. It is, to use the words of Mark Twain, ‘fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness’.

In an article published in Foreign Affairs magazine in 1993, the American political scientist, Samuel Huntington, suggested that world politics was entering a new phase. In that new phase, ideological disputes and economic interests would no longer be the primary source of global conflict.