I TRAVEL all over the country for features and usually enjoy the drive there and back just as much as the people I meet and their stories - but only as long as they don't live in the bigger cities.
I can manage without the manic traffic and hold-ups and, luckily these days, I rarely have to turn such jobs down - because I'm not offered them any more.
But when I'm asked to head for the Welsh marches, Devon and Cornwall out of season or the wide open spaces of Norfolk, I jump at the chance.
Recently, I had to go to the Welsh borders again for a job and I was driving the excellent new Citroen Space Tourer.
Now, it's full title is the C4 Space Tourer and, of course, it used to be known as the C4 Picasso, but no-one I know ever uses the C4 appendage apart from Citroen and it's well past time they consigned it to history.
What a fantastic family car. Even the five seat model I drove has loads of interior space, adjustable front and rear seats, a huge boot and storage all round.
It's also amazingly comfortable, even over that long testing journey to Wales, where I drove on every kind of road imaginable.
And, even though the model I drove was petrol powered, it still managed 44 miles per gallon over that trip, which is really excellent.
There are two petrol and two diesel engines in the range, this was the smaller 1.2 turbo petrol.
Sounds tiny for a big car doesn't it, but believe me there's no lack of performance. It pulls well from very low revs and sounds lovely when it's pushed.
Acceleration is good in all five of the lower gears and it can handle all motorway lane changes in sixthwithout a grumble.
The engine is very smooth and quiet at lower revs and almost inaudible on tickover. It also comes with standard stop/start, helping towards economy when stationary in traffic.
The Citroen's smooth, good looking shape slips quietly through the air and so refinement - apart from the tyres on tar and chipping surfaces of course - is right out of the top drawer.
With the quality of ride being so good, it might have been forgiven for rolling more than usual in the corners, but it doesn't.
The handling and road holding are brilliant - much better than such tall vehicles ever used to be - with decent feel from the steering and tremendous grip even when pushed very hard by yours truly.
Inside, it comes with three individual adjustable rear seats and a fold flat passenger seat. The rear seats can be folded forward to give more boot space or taken out altogether to leave even more.
Equipment in the top Flair model I drove includes DAB stereo, sat nav, digital dash that can be changed to suit the driver, stereo controls on the steering wheel and lots of electronic driving aids.
It has keyless entry and starting, stability and traction control, lane departure warning, USB socket, Bluetooth phone connection, hill start assist and parking sensors front and rear.