So where did the whole idea that we had to travel to broaden our minds come from. We look back in history to try and find early adventurers – one of my favourites was the late great Sir Richard Burton, by no means the first person to take travel as a tonic, but certainly one of the bravest.
So who were the early travellers and why did they do it.
It seems that people migrated for mostly economic reasons at one time, the aesthetic reasons being purely a by product. It is said that if we were truly happy where we are why go anywhere. Even in the more recent time of Burton and Speke, travel was a dangerous affair. You had to be handy with a pistol and a sword and a safe return was no guarantee.
I take it to be the romantic poets who glamorised travel in a way that has influenced us greatly even now. They reclined their way around Europe trying to put together the puzzle that was ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. Writing poetry. Travel was still by no means safe but it was getting safer and the world was opening up it’s secrets.
I would have loved to have travelled in those times, when discoveries were made not in guide books, but around the next corner.
But I’m not complaining, I recently booked a ticket around the world via South America, so I’ll be discovering some secrets too.