Starting with Rankin's arresting cover image of Daisy Lowe in vintage air stewardess uniform, the issue looks back to some of the famous contributions that have made High Life what it is today, from Sir David Attenborough on diving to Alain de Botton on the new ‘generation curious'. The '73 opening of the Bosphorus Bridge, Elvis plays Hawaii, the Rocky Horror Picture Show...High Life was born into a very different world.
But it's not all about the retrospective. This iconic bumper issue looks forward to 40 years to predict what the future holds for the world's travelling community.
Simon Calder, John Simpson, Charley Boorman and Benedict Allen get together in a London hotel for our impromptu 2053 think tank, sharing their unique perspective on everything from space travel to the world's undiscovered gems.
Forty of the world's best travel editors from Conde Nast to the Washington Post reveal their top tips on the world's next big destinations.
And if that weren't enough, we've curated a collection of beautiful 40 word travel guides from our favourite writers including Irvine Welsh and Kate Mosse.
"Over four decades High Life has become a truly iconic British travel title, and what better way to mark the occasion than with an A-list view on the changing face of travel," said Kerry Smith, the magazine's Editor. "After reading this issue, one thing is for sure - there has never has there been a more exciting time to get on a plane."