Stalked by polar bears, held up at gunpoint and sleeping in fields strewn with unexploded mortar shells - just what inspires the new generation of self-styled modern explorers?
Intrepid adventurers have been making their mark for centuries, from Capt James Cook's mapping of Australia and New Zealand, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes making the first unaided crossing of the Antarctic.
But in the 21st Century, when so much of the world is a well-trodden path, the motivation of the so-called modern-day explorer goes beyond simply being the first to step on new land.
Most recently, Benedict Allen made headlines when he went missing while trying to reach a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea.
After becoming ill with a fever he became disorientated and was unable to call for help because he had purposely gone into the jungle without a phone.
He and four others talk about the source of their wanderlust.
'The biggest dangers are often banal'Image copyright Simon Buxton Image caption
"I've been mugged, shot at and charged by elephants.But the biggest dangers are often more banal."
Despite making several attempts to call for a helicopter, the remote nature of their location made it impossible to secure help.
"On a personal level I was questioning why it happened and also whether or not to carry on.
"I had some deep soul searching to do but decided to carry on as it was a way of honouring Matt's memory."
Mr Wood's first big expedition was aged 22, when he hitch-hiked from England to India.
But the 35-year-old, originally from Stoke in Staffordshire, says despite his daring lifestyle, he is not entirely comfortable with the term "explorer".
"It brings up images of pith helmets and planting flags in the land [but] for me, it's about travel - I want to look beyond the horizon.
"It's about sharing knowledge and learning new things - when you travel, you are an ambassador for your country."Image copyright Levison Wood Image caption
He says travelling can also offer a different perspective about a place, citing a recent trip to Syria as a good example.
"I stayed in Damascus and you wouldn't know a war is going on.Millions [of people] live and get on with their lives and that is a forgotten story.
"I'm not saying people should go on holiday to Syria - I just show people the truth and let them make their minds up."
He admits that travelling to often risky locations is not easy on his family, particularly on his "poor mum".
"When I was 21, I hitchhiked across Iraq.She thought I'd been on holiday in Greece.
"I think she's given up worrying."
'A brilliant way to tell stories'Image copyright Savio Martins Image caption
Pip Stewart, 33, describes herself as an "accidental adventurer."
She was working as a journalist in Asia when in 2013, her partner persuaded her to cycle back to London with him.
Her first reaction was to wonder if he had "lost the plot", but 13 months later, she had covered 9,941 miles (16,000 km) and visited 26 countries.
"I found it to be a brilliant mechanism to tell stories because the people you meet and the connections you make are phenomenal."
Ms Stewart, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, now treats exploration as her full-time career.
"It's like any business, it takes a while to make any money out of it.
"Eventually you make a living through doing talks, for example at trade shows.
"The rise of social media has helped too.Brands will want to work with you and then I just focus on writing about my travels."Image copyright Pip Stewart Image caption
Though Ms Stewart enjoys the life-changing experiences of her adventures, she also appreciates the dangers involved.
"I was cycling in Tajikistan along the Wakhan Corridor.We found a place to camp at dusk.
"The next morning, I went to pull out the tent peg and realised my head had been 3cm from an unexploded mortar [shell].
"We reported it and they said a number of cows had recently been blown up after stepping on mortars.
"It was a lucky escape."
'A need to beat our chests'Image copyright Keith Ducatel Image caption
"It's all well and good being young and taking risks, but the Amazon was reckless.I was largely uninsured and it was dangerous.
"My perspective has changed now I have a family."
The 42-year-old left Peterborough and headed to South America in 2010 after turning his back on careers in military and finance.
He says it gave him a platform to "achieve something and become more confident."
"I'm sure most explorers would say they are a bit insecure.We have a need to beat our chests."Image copyright Keith Ducatel Image caption
Mr Stafford's Amazon expedition took nearly two-and-a-half years and almost came to a halt when funds dried up.
"I ran out of money halfway through.I had to make YouTube videos with a PayPal link below them.I was crowdfunding before it had even been invented."
The explorer was also held up at arrow and gunpoint, arrested for drug smuggling and encountered alligators, electric eels and jaguars.
"I was also arrested for murder.A man had gone missing and I arrived in the village that day.The chief arrested me and I was locked up in a wooden hut and interrogated.It was farcical."
Mr Stafford was released after eight hours and continued with his journey.
But the 42-year-old has largely hung up his backpack to work for the Discovery Channel and bring up his eight-month-old son - the appropriately named Ranulph.
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'I made myself vulnerable'Image copyright Benedict Allen Image caption
He says his predicament was borne out of his approach - he explores without modern technology, so he can integrate himself into indigenous communities.
"It's a reaction against traditional imperialist exploration, a very deliberate attempt to make myself vulnerable.
"I want people to look me in the eye and know I can't just make a phone call and get rescued.
"A lot of people made it sound like I just went walking off into the jungle.I have 30 years experience of this."Image copyright Benedict Allen Image caption
By his own admission, his approach can be dangerous - he contracted malaria five times and says he was was attacked by gold miners in the Amazon - it is "always outsiders that pose the biggest risk, never the indigenous people".
Despite the danger and criticism, Mr Allen isn't looking to retire.
"I'm fired up again and want to do more.I felt more alive out there and got the sparkle back in my eye."
'I'm no different to an ultra-marathon runner'Image copyright Ben Saunders Image caption
Ben Saunders has completed 13 polar expeditions over 17 years.
He has been stalked by polar bears, run out of food in Antarctica and abandoned his most recent expedition due to "nightmarish" conditions.
Danger aside, the 40-year-old from Plymouth says he is "more of an athlete than an explorer".
"To me, the appeal in these journeys is the challenge, both physical and mental.
"I'm no different to an Ironman or ultra-marathon runner."Image copyright Andy Ward Image caption
He says his trips are not just about challenging his limits;his most recent expedition was in honour of his friend Henry Worsley, who died while attempting to complete a solo crossing of Antarctica.
"I was much slower getting to the South Pole than anticipated, due to nightmarish weather.
"I wanted 20 days of food from the Pole to the finish line on the east coast, but I arrived with much less, so I didn't take a gamble and I abandoned the trip.
"I have a different attitude to risk nowadays."
And the run-in with polar bears?That came during his first major expedition in 2001.
"It was only the second morning and I spotted a polar bear following us.We tried to scare it away with a Russian shotgun but it jammed five times before we could fire a shot.
"It was probably about 30 metres or a few seconds' sprint away.That was my first big fright.We had to make noise and convince it we weren't seals." ...
More than 300 people from Kosovo went to join Islamists fighting "holy war" in Syria and Iraq - per capita the highest number in Europe.But not all of them match the popular image of a jihadi, as Helen Nianias discovered when she met a hipsterish young man for coffee in the Kosovan capital, Pristina.
A man with a short beard, a dark pea coat and a bemused expression weaves towards me between the tables of this smart cafe.Sitting down, he looks slightly embarrassed as a tall glass of coffee topped with a huge quiff of whipped cream is put in front of him.
This is Albert Iberisha.He's 31 years old and five years ago he went to Syria to fight.
"I know it's hard to believe, but it happened," Albert says about his nine days with different extremist groups.Articulate and focused, he says his primary reason for going to Syria was to oppose the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
To misquote the film Withnail and I, Albert went to fight "by mistake", ricocheting between uncomfortable and frightening experiences.During this brief but eventful period, he says al-Nusra Front - a group once affiliated to al-Qaeda - tried to enlist him, before letting him go.Then he went to stay with a group of fellow ethnic Albanians - before finding out they were trying to join so-called Islamic State, which he didn't want to do.Image copyright Getty Images Image caption
Albert says he escaped while they were busy fighting Kurds, and went to join Ahrar al-Sham, a coalition of Islamist and Salafist groups that is not classified as a terrorist organisation.He was taught how to take apart, clean and reassemble a Kalashnikov, but maintains that he never fought.After just five days, he realised life in Syria didn't match the romantic ideas he'd had of joining a revolution to liberate the oppressed.
When I was young, everyone thought I would go far in politics
Albert and his friend Arber have set up an organisation called the Institute for Security, Integration and Deradicalisation.They hope to dissuade people from going to fight, and try to counter the jihadist narrative on social media.They also offer help to returnees to stay on the right path, but admit they aren't sure how many of the fighters who come home will want to give up their radical ways.
As for Albert, he thinks he will be 34 by the time he gets out of prison.
"When I was young, everyone thought I would go far in politics - and my first media appearance was as a suspected terrorist," he says ruefully.
Albert was right, his story is hard to believe.Who knows what happened in Syria in 2013, but today it's hard to imagine him holding a gun, let alone fighting for an al-Qaeda affiliate, or for Islamic State.
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Two weeks after the end of hostilities in Kosovo, three young Albanian-Americans who had joined the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were arrested by Yugoslav police, tortured and killed.Eighteen years later, the conflict has been largely forgotten, but the men's youngest brother continues a lonely fight for justice.
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