Hunting For A Rare Bird In The Colombian Jungle: The Cock-Of-The-Rock

The naturalist Leo E. Miller was a participant in the famed Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition of 1913–1914 that explored Brazil’s unknown Rio da Duvida.  He also had a distinguished career exploring the wilds of many different South American countries and cataloging various species of animal life; he would later record these experiences with the publication in 1918 of In the Wilds of South America.  

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The Strange Travels Of Pietro Della Valle

Pietro Della Valle was an accomplished traveler as well as a literary figure in his own right.  Other great names of Middle Eastern exploration came after him, but he was one of the very first pre-modern Westerners to gain first-hand experience in the region.  As the reader will discover, he was also undoubtedly the most eccentric.  He was born in Rome on April 11, 1586, to a distinguished family that was able to provide him with a good education.  Developing a flair for literature at an early age, he thirsted for the glories of the sword as well as the glories of the pen; and to this end, he signed up for adventure with a Spanish fleet in 1611 on an expedition to the North African coast.

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The Remarkable Travels Of Jonas Hanway, And What He Learned From Them

Travelers and explorers march on; and I march on with my retellings of their adventures and philosophies.  I suspect that few readers will have heard of the great English traveler and philanthropist Jonas Hanway; yet his career and worldview embodies many of the values we have extolled here, as we will understand later in this article.  Hanway’s journeys in Russia and Persia alone make him worthy of inclusion among any list of great itinerants; but, when these experiences are combined with his expansive moral and ethical philosophy, we have the ingredients of true greatness.  The world needs more men like him now.

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The Travels Of William Of Rubruck In Central Asia And Mongolia

Long are the roads walked by the lonely, intrepid traveler.  Not for him are the well-worn pathways of the conventional sightseer; for he is a seeker, and seekers by definition prefer the untrod vistas of the globe.  He will deliberately chose the unknown road, the trails less walked, the scenes less scrutinized, and the more risky propositions:  and he does this because he must, because some devilish inner compulsion drives him forward, like a demon nipping at his heels.

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The Travels Of Constantin De Volney

Every traveler has a different tale, but the travel itself has the same purpose:  to push through boundaries, overcome obstacles, and to seek out what is not known.  This impulse in man will never change.  And it is right that this is so, for without it the progress of the human race might come to a shuddering halt.  In reviewing the lives and careers of great travelers, we feel almost as if they were animated by some unconscious impulse, some unfathomable compulsion, to thrust out the boundaries of their knowledge.  Every man must determine for himself his own outer limit.  The demarcation is intense, and personal; and it cannot be any other way.

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Adam Olearius: Amazing Travels And Explorations In Russia And Persia

In the early seventeenth century, the steppes of Russia were almost entirely unknown to western Europeans.  Forests were thicker than they are now, roads were fewer and more difficult to navigate, and travel required much more money and resources than it does now.  One had to be sponsored by a wealthy patron, or be an official representative of a government.  It is to this latter category that the German explorer Adam Olearius (1599–1671)  belonged; he was one of the first westerners to penetrate deeply into Russia and Persia, and the account he left behind is one of the more fascinating works of travel literature that I have seen in recent years.

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Charles Sturt: A Pioneer Of Australian Exploration

The student of the history of exploration and discovery cannot fail to notice certain recurring patterns in the lives of great explorers.  Many of them come from modest or poor backgrounds; many have military experience; many are driven by an inner conviction that they are destined for great achievements; many have a high tolerance for pain and hardship; and some of them have combative or disputatious natures that make them difficult to get along with.  Not all of these generalizations are found in every explorer, of course.  But it cannot be denied that a certain personality type is well-suited to a life of exploration.

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