LIKE many respectable citizens, I'm right excited by the Nasa space probe's flyby of Pluto due to take place tomorrow.

Even though the planet will doubtless be rubbish, like the Moon and yonder Mars, I'm still intrigued to find out just how rubbish it is and to see the fabbiest pictures of it so far.

Pluto is a dwarf planet with no bus service and is, indeed, between 2.7 and 4.7 billion miles away (it keeps bobbing about) from my house. Other than that, I'm also fascinated by the Mars One project to send upstanding ratepayers on a one-way trip to colonise the Red Planet.

Given this interest, you might accuse me of hypocrisy (all right, madam, no need to shout; you don't even know what it's about yet) for having zero interest in exploring my own planet.

Well, unlike in ooter space, I'm not alone in this. According to research for, the average UK adult has only visited 5 per cent of the world's countries.

He or she, indeed, has travelled to "just" ten countries in total. Five in my case, and only two of these (Norway and Ireland) were not out of professional or personal duty.

The Hostelworld finding is reported as an accusation rather than a matter of pride, but why would you go to other places which are pretty much just like home, only hotter or colder, with different trousers and variable walking styles?

Wherever you go on Earth, it's always the same boring dominant species: homo sapiens, man the sap, the great ape distinguished from other beasts by two things: spectacle-wearing and a fries-based diet. Nope, give me a Martian microbe any day of the week.

Other than maybe Livingstone in Africa - and only because he was Scottish - I've never even taken much interest, historical or otherwise, in exploration of far flung parts of the Earth.

North Pole, South Pole: you can shove it as far as I'm concerned. All that across the desert by chihuahua stuff leaves me cold, and I believe people who do single-handed things on yachts should be arrested.

But ooter space: that's a different kettle of Pisces. You won't be meeting other punters there, unless it turns out like the experience of many travellers on Earth: you bump into someone from Glasgow. Imagine Nasa's disappointment when the first close-up pictures of Pluto show a wee guy in a Partick Thistle scarf holding up a sign saying, "Fancy a pint?"

However, even Glaswegians haven't ventured that far. Deep into the darkness - that's the only place worth exploring, not least because it was the setting for Star Trek, mankind's leading moral compass.

One more sleep till the flypast of Pluto. Can't wait.