World Travel, in fact, the movement across the frontier defines the human’s curious nature. this unquenchable curiosity and urge to explore was the reason behind our ancestors’ early international travels. The history of world travel starts most probably with the start of the human race. As evident from the fact that the human race originated in Africa and is now inhabited all over the world. Since the 10,000 years ago, all the landmasses of the planet were populated with human beings. Ironically the next phase of human’s world travel history is characterized by abandoning travel due to the invention of agriculture, the phenomenon also known as the Neolithic Revolution. And the race of survival suddenly converted into building civilizations.
The rise of civilizations gave birth to the need for trade and exploration. The modern wheels invented by Indus Valley Civilization and sailboats invented by Mesopotamian Civilization became the transportation modes for world travel. These civilizations tended to be Empires and started exploring the world to conquer it. Vasco De Gama sailed around Africa and reached Asia; Columbus traveled through the Atlantic to reach Asia and discovered the Americas. The explorers mapped the world with world maps. While talking about world travel and explorers, it is really unfair to forget the Vikings who were prolific seafarers and completed the incredible journeys across the world.
Another revolution impacted the world travel tremendously by making advances to the modes of transportation. The Industrial Revolution totally changed the outlook of the Travelling history. For about 200 years the world travels were the privilege of the wealthy. However, the industry developed and the possibility of domestic and international tours raised for the ones who stood low on the social ladder. In the modern world, there is huge tourism across the globe.
The Motives of the World Travel
Transportation means are fabulously and amazingly modernized and now, neither the oceans nor the mountains can stop men from Travelling. The Romans were the first to develop road structure at the massive level and for the long distance. Today there are roads, railway tracks for the terrestrial Travelling. They are built by cutting through the mountain hearts and they are undergrounded in populated cities, in the rivers and at points in the seas too.
The huge ships have replaced the sailboats and the airplanes gave wings to the man. The irrepressible urge of Travelling is facilitated enough to make the planet a global village. To further facilitate the world travels Englishman Thomas Cook set the cornerstone of the travel agencies in the 1840s. Now people travel for many different reasons. Few ancient and Modern motives of world travel are discussed here.
Broaden the VisionIn Romans’ and Greeks’ times, it was usually thought that “Travel Broadens the mind”. So, it was a totally elite privilege to travel across the world. The aristocrats of Europeans the Nobles of Asia were supposed to make world travel to broaden their vision.
Culture InfluenceThe other known purpose was to influence the culture of the target country. The most cultured and educated people were sent abroad to give a positive impression of the culture. This type of travel is still prevalent.
Conquering ExpeditionsAn ancient but frequently happened phenomenon, when the expeditions travel to conquer the unconquered lands for resources or other imperialistic agendas. Great Britain, France, Japan, and many European countries have the history of world travel for this purpose.
Religious PilgrimageMiddle ages gave way to religious world travels known as the Pilgrimage. People travel to get this religious satisfaction till the date. 2 million Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia to fulfill the religious obligation called Hajj from all across the world. The other big religious gathering occurs in Hinduism at the Kumbh Mela, where Hindus travel to bathe in the Holy River. The Christian travel to Rome; Jews to Jerusalem; Sikhs to the Golden Temple Amritsar. This a huge percentage of world travel comprises the Religious Pilgrimage.
Grand Tour17th Century gave birth to a new type of travel: The Grand Tour. This was supposed to be the rite of passage for the young men, designed to educate them after completion of formal education. Again, this form of travel was initially availed by the rich. But the invention of Railways with cheaper fares opened the door for the middle class too.
Business TravelsAnother reason for world travel is a business trip. It is not new. In ancient times the people used to travel for the resources i.e. the economic reasons. Then the small scale trade tours started even before the industrial revolution. Nowadays there are thousands of multinational corporations and their directors and CEO make frequent visits to every country.
Leisure World Travel/ TourismThe basic difference between travel and tourism is that tourism is travel without purpose. While the other travels are made with different aims, tourism is just for fun. The Roman Empire again a pioneer to establish world’s first resort, and now the resorts islands are the greatest attraction for the tourists in addition to the seaside, historical places, museums, mountains, and the world wonders. When this leisure world travel started, only 1% of people were able to afford it but now in 2019, this number has tremendously raised to 1.4 billion.
Most Visited Places on the Surface of Earth
The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s data shows that Europe Continues to be most visited region on the globe with London grabbing around 20 million tourists, alone. The other most visited cities are Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Istanbul, Tokyo, Sofia in Bulgaria and Anatolia.
The fantasy of world travel has translated into reality today. It has reached its extremes. Every corner of the world (also Great Wall of China) is accessible today, and people visit every attraction. After conquering the planet Earth, man is today ready to summit the outer atmosphere. The “Space Tourism” is the new and exciting chapter in travel history. The advancing technology could change the face of tourism for times to come.