The Journey of a Traveler

I often wonder how much time was spent in traveling mere centuries ago when the road of the traveler was hard. No flights, no high speed trains and the most prevalent medium to travel was ships. People spent a fortune and even in some cases, they spent their all earnings to just see what the world looks like. They spent days and weeks in traveling from state to state and even months in reaching from one country to another, some for leisure, some for business and others for just curiosity and amusement, from the stories they heard from people returning from The Great Voyage. In fact, many case, people did not even return from their great journeys, some due to will and others due to illness. Well, that era was different and so were the people. They had patience to travel and that was no less than the adventure for them.

Ibn Battuta is one of the most famous traveler of 13th century, known for his extensive travels, over a period of thirty years. His journeys included trips to North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China. Spending years of his life traveling and the fear of not seeing his family ever again did not stop him to explore the world. Here is an extract from his book Rihla (Journey).

I set out alone, having neither fellow-traveler in whose companionship I might find cheer, nor caravan whose part I might join, but swayed by an overmastering impulse within me and a desire long-cherished in my bosom to visit these illustrious sanctuaries. So I braced my resolution to quit my dear ones, female and male, and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests. My parents being yet in the bonds of life, it weighed sorely upon me to part from them, and both they and I were afflicted with sorrow at this separation.

Then the time changed, technology evolved and more accessible mediums to travel were available. Railways were introduced and the time span of traveling reduced drastically. Soon, the Wright brothers invented first aircraft which changed everything. Distances of days and months were covered in just few hours. Though, it was still costly to travel by air and it remained popular amongst the rich and affluent of the society. People started traveling more for business and leisure. It was boom in travel industry as people were more willing to spend a fortune just for the experience and explore the unexplored. Everyone wanted to reach the most inaccessible parts of the world within few hours.

The first aircraft
Come 21st century, the world changed. Evolution of technology led to develop high speed trains, more sophisticated aircrafts which are not only luxurious, but are way cheaper. Airlines like  Air Asia are now more reasonable on pockets and can just be booked by click of a button on cell phones. In some cases, price of flights are at par with high speed trains. There is a new boom in travel industry with more and more people opting to travel by air, be it first time fliers or regular fliers. People are not restricting themselves to just travel within the country, but explore the world.

Well, we can definitely say that the world is changing and evolution is constant.


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