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I come from a family of adventurers. I couldn’t resist becoming one too

By Benedict Allen   May 2011

Seven generations of my family lived in India—one of them gave Kipling his first job, another narrowly missed giving his name to Mount Everest—and my oldest cousin lived in the jungle collecting moths. My father was a test pilot. One of my earliest memories was of him flying a Vulcan bomber overhead, waggling its delta wings at us as we stood in our back garden. Returning from his “tropical trials,” he’d pluck from his flight bag impossibly exotic objects: a snake pickled in meths, a weaverbird’s nest. It was natural for me to assume that I too would have adventures…

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