6 Legendary Travellers from The Past Who Did Unthinkable for Their Travels


Things people do for travel

Photo of 6 Legendary Travellers from The Past Who Did Unthinkable for Their Travels by Anshul Sharma

Travel is not just transformative but also dangerously tempting. And sometimes this temptation can be so overpowering that you are lured into doing crazy things—things that you normally won't do, or will think twice before doing. Many of you would already be proud of having experienced such crazy stuff for your travels, no matter the risks.

But before you start boasting about how crazy and adventurous your travel experiences have been, you might want to read about these people from history whose incredible travel stories can easily put yours, and many others', to shame.

1.) Christopher Columbus

Photo of 6 Legendary Travellers from The Past Who Did Unthinkable for Their Travels 1/6 by Anshul Sharma
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If it were not for this great explorer from Italy, the world might have remained oblivious to the Americas for much longer. Christopher Columbus used to work at a private merchant ship during his teenage, but that didn't last long as his ship was attacked by Frenchmen near the north coast of Portugal in 1470. Not only did he manage to a cling on to a wooden board and floated to the shore but also travelled to Lisbon for further studies. Well, that was first of many adventures of this great traveller from medieval period.

Dangers faced:

1. Survived a shipwreck at the age of 19.

2. Journeyed into unexplored waters, remained at sea for several months at stretch, and suffered with malnutrition, temporary blindness and many other physical discomforts.

3. Faced consequences of not being able to fulfill specific promises he made to his Spanish authorities.

4. Faced brutal attacks from natives in unknown lands

5. Got stripped of his noble titles for not being able to contain revolt in Hispaniola settlement

Notable achievements:

1. Completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean in a bid to discover a direct sea route to Asia.

2. Went on to discover the Americas.

3. Voyaged around Mediterranean sea

2.) Yuri Gagarin

Photo of 6 Legendary Travellers from The Past Who Did Unthinkable for Their Travels 2/6 by Anshul Sharma
(c) Unsplash

If you feel awed by Christopher Columbus' daring journeys into unknown oceans, think about the man who agreed to take the sheer risks of flying into outer space for the first time ever! Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, a former Soviet Air Force pilot, became the first man in the world to venture into the unforgiving and perilous environment of space on April 12, 1961 when a crude Vostok 1 capsule carrying him blasted off into the space, 315 km above Earth's surface. And it was when even a commercial flight journey was not considered very safe amongst the commoners!

Dangers faced:

1. Volunteered to take the risk of doing what was never done before.

2. Underwent rigorous training, including experiencing a G-force of around 13G. The highest amount of G-force recorded at any roller coaster is 6.3G for Tower of Terror in South Africa.

3. Got permanently banned from future training for spaceflights post Soyuz 1 crash

Notable achievements:

1. First human to travel into outer space, with primitive technology.

3.) Alexander the Great

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(c) Unsplash

One of the greatest rulers, Alexander the Great was an ancient Greek king who first sat on throne at the age of 20. By the time he turned 30, he was not only ruling one of the largest empires in the world which extended from his city in Greece to northwestern parts of India but also had travelled some serious distances, considering transport facilities in those days.

He spent almost 15 years in conquering territories without losing a single battle. No wonder he is considered as one of the most successful militarymen and fearless explorers in the world.

Dangers faced:

1. Fought and survived a number of bloody wars.

2. Led his armies into uncharted lands.

Notable achievements:

1. Extended his empire to around 5, 200, 000 sq. km.

2. Travelled thousands of miles to reach Indian subcontinent from Greece.

4.) Steven Callahan

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(c) Unsplash

Looking at a vast blue ocean from distance is pleasing until you're in the middle of it, battling your survival out on a small raft. Steven Callahan, a resident of Massachusetts, United States set out for a trans-Atlantic voyage from Rhode Island towards England. However, he had the misfortune of being in the middle of the Atlantic on his raft after his yacht collided with a whale and sank during his return journey to Antigua around 800 miles from the coast.

For 76 long days (yes, you read it right!), he was all alone in the vast ocean with very limited food, water, and a few essential items, fighting for his life. And guess what, he made it alive! So the next time you are faced with some problem, recall this guy's name and you might be inspired to fight back with full strength.

Dangers faced:

1. Drowning in the Atlantic Ocean.

2. Endured diarrhea, hypothermia, sunburn, and starvation.

3. Getting eaten alive by sharks.

Notable achievements:

1. Managed to fix and keep his raft afloat which got ripped while he was trying to catch fish in the Atlantic.

2. Made it alive to the coast after surviving 76 days in the Atlantic after his yacht capsized.

5.) Christopher McCandless

Photo of 6 Legendary Travellers from The Past Who Did Unthinkable for Their Travels 5/6 by Anshul Sharma

There are times when we all feel like we have had enough and want to disconnect ourselves from the society. So, we just take a holiday, travel to mountains or secluded beaches to be at peace and gather ourselves. However, Christopher McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp, was a California-born young explorer who re-defined the meaning of the term'wayfarer' forever with his travels.

Christopher, too displeased with the modern society, eventually decided to abandon his home, his savings and other belongings only to hitchhike and take refuge in the wilderness of Alaska. He was found dead inside an abandoned bus on September 6, 1992.

Dangers faced:

1. Travelled without any identities.

2. Had no money or debit/credit cards when he left home.

3. Stayed away from civilisation for around four months and nearly managed to survive in Alaskan wilderness without any help from the outside.

4. Died of eating a poisonous plant.

Notable achievements:

1. Became a modern role model for free-spirited idealists.

2. Many journals and books, and a movie (Into the Wild) were released in his memory.

6.) Captain James Cook

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(c) Unsplash

Name one continent that Captain James Cook hasn't explored and we'll name it after you. You can't and neither can we, because there isn't any such continent on the surface of this planet. Captain in Royal Navy, James Cook was a British explorer and an expert mapmaker who sailed thousands of miles across almost all major oceans and seas on the surface of this planet.

Apart from being an astute leader, Captain James Cook was a fearless traveller who created history by circumnavigating the globe twice. Now how's that for inspiration?

Dangers faced:

1. Took life-threatening risks of exploring hostile places on earth, including Arctic and Antarctic circles.

2. Was killed in Hawaii during his third attempt of world exploration.

Notable achievements:

1. Travelled across the world twice in his life.

2. Saved his whole crew onboard from getting infected with scurvy.

3. Discovered Australia and New Zealand.

The world is full of such incredibly mind-boggling stories which will never cease to inspire us. You may not have a story like these guys up here, but you can create one, can't you?

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