After an expat childhood, I've now spent almost 20 years on the road as a reporter - first as a freelancer in the ruins of the Soviet Union, then for two war-torn years in Chechnya, before I joined the BBC back in Moscow.
Nine icy winters seemed enough, and I escaped to east Africa, covering more wars (including stints in Afghanistan and Iraq), a few peace deals, and the occasional exploding volcano.
Married, and with three young boys, I then moved to Asia just in time to witness the aftermath of the tsunami in Aceh. Based in Singapore, then Bangkok, I spent a lot of time sneaking into Burma undercover, before I was finally caught and deported.
Now I'm delighted to be back in Africa. I've already met pirates in Somalia, interviewed Zimbabwe's president, and investigated Islamic extremism in Timbuktu. I live in Johannesburg - a city that embodies some of the dangers, the energy, and the potential of this extraordinary continent.