Spirit of Exploration
The 15th to 18th centuries are commonly referred to as the "Age of Discovery". This is an informal term for the period in European history in which extensive overseas exploration took place. Many areas previously unknown to Europeans were discovered in this period, although most were already inhabited. Perhaps the most famous examples of European exploration and discovery of this period are the trans-Atlantic voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas between 1492 and 1502, and the first circumnavigation of the globe in 1519–1522.
Of course discoveries were made long before the 15th century, and they certainly continued after the 18th century. In 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created by President Dwight Eisenhower. NASA was created largely as a response to Sputnik, a satellite successfully launched into space by the Soviet Union in 1957. Sputnik and NASA embarked on the “Space Race,” in which the USA and the Soviet Union competed to explore space.
There are however still adventures and discoveries to be made on planet earth, and the spirit of exploration is still very much alive and kicking. In 2018 an American explorer made the first solo unsupported trek across Antarctica, an epic feat of endurance that took nearly two months and ended with an extraordinary sprint.
Colin O’Brady covered the final 77 miles over 32 hours without sleeping, a gruelling trek which he described as an Antarctic ultra marathon. He then called his folks back home to tearfully tell them that he'd made it. He had spent 54 days in conditions that pushed his body to its limit, battling solitude, hunger and extreme cold. He often had to walk almost blind through driving snow, struggling over treacherous terrain, all the while dragging weeks’ worth of supplies on a sledge. The total journey was 932 miles!
Inspiration for Adventure!
At Stayboundless.co we believe people should never give up the spirit of adventure and discovery! With that in mind, we present to you 10 of the greatest explorers of all time to inspire your inner explorer!
Sir John Mandeville is the supposed author of "The Travels of Sir John Mandeville", a travel memoir which first circulated between 1357 and 1371. In his preface, the compiler calls himself a knight, and states that he was born and bred in England, in the town of St Albans. According to the book, John de Mandeville crossed the sea in 1322; had traversed by way of Turkey, Tartary, Persia, Syria, Arabia, Egypt upper and lower, Libya, the great part of Ethiopia, Chaldea, "Amazonia" and India. Although these adventures were to places already known to Westerners, for a man to visit all these places in the 14th century was an incredible feat!
Ahmad ibn Fadlan:
Ibn Fadlan was a 10th-century Arab Muslim traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars, known as his Risala ("account" or "journal"). His account is most notable for providing a detailed description of the Volga Vikings, including an eyewitness account of a ship burial. Ibn Fadlan's adventures consituted some of the earliest known interactions between the medieval Islamic world and the Vikings.
Tenzing Norgay was a Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer. He was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he climbed with Sir Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953. Time Magazine named Tenzing Norgay one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer and, most importantly, the first man to walk on the Moon!
Marco Polo was an Italian merchant, explorer, and writer, born in the Republic of Venice. His travels are recorded in "The Travels of Marco Polo", written about 1300. The book describes to Europeans the wealth and great size of China, its capital Peking, and other Asian cities and countries. Though he was not the first European to reach China, Marco Polo was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience. His book is said to have inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travellers.
Captain James Cook (7th November 1728– 14th February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He made three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Sacagawea (May 1788 – December 20, 1812) was a Native American woman who helped the American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States and explore the Louisiana Territory. Sacagawea traveled with the expedition thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean. She helped establish cultural contacts with Native American populations and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2003.
Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (16 July 1872 – c.?18 June 1928) was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions and a key figure of the "Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration". He led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage in 1906 and the first expedition to the South Pole in 1911. Sadly he disappeared while taking part in a rescue mission for the airship Italia in 1928.
Ibn Battuta was a Muslim Moroccan scholar and explorer who widely travelled the medieval world. Often called "the Arab Marco Polo", over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited much of the known world, including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and China. Near the end of his life, he dictated an account of his journeys, titled "A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling".
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist and film maker who studied the sea and underwater life forms. He co-developed the Aqua-lung and pioneered marine conservation. Cousteau described his underwater world research in a series of books, perhaps the most successful being his first book, "The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure", published in 1953. Cousteau also directed films, most notably the documentary adaptation of the book, The Silent World, which won a Palme d'or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.
Bonus: Motivational Quotes Posters
With our motivational quotes posters we hope to inspire people to explore, and to be creative and adventurous. Check out our Motivational Quotes Collection including Iphone cases, Wall Art, Decor and Prints, and let us know what you think!