Travel, Part 2

Yet, that spirit of curiosity driving those European explorers was stronger than their fears. Same can be said for the Polynesians who set out on the South Pacific, covering vast stretches of open ocean from New Zealand to Easter Island.

Today, every corner of the earth has been mapped, studied and visited. The discoveries travelers seek now are more personal in nature. And despite the relative comfort and ease of travel today, it can still be a daunting endeavor—especially for those of us who prefer to wander about on our own.

Language and cultural differences can be vexing for the solo traveler. Some years back, on an overnight train from Odessa in Ukraine, to the capital, Kiev, I was asked by a fellow passenger in my compartment, why I would visit a country like Ukraine without first learning the language. I responded that it was a good question and answered that, if I had to learn the language of every country I wanted to visit in this world, I’d likely never get to see any of them. (Travel, Pt. 3)