A river cruise touring holiday is a great way of experiencing a range of cultures and landscapes in the space of one trip and a way of emulating the famous explorers that discovered such exotic destinations first.
Here travellers and travel blogs share their travel heroes and inspirations with us, along with reasons why they inspired their own travel bug.
‘I find the tales of 'Scott of the Antarctic' moving and inspirational. As a glaciologist by training, I have long been fascinated by the Poles and their early exploration. Although Scott reached the South Pole, he was not the first and his return was ill-fated, but the stories of him and his companions - and their bravery and courage in the most challenging conditions - live on to this day through the letters they wrote in their last days.’
Dr Paul Johnson, A Luxury Travel Blog
We couldn’t agree with Johnson more. Although Robert Falcon Scott, ‘Scott of the Antarctic’, was not the first to the South Pole, he has stood as inspiration for explorers and travellers alike since the time of his death in 1912. The spirit of Scott’s expeditions live on in the writing of his diary and the letters of his companions, much in the way that travel bloggers keep their experiences alive in their blogs. A Luxury Travel Blog focuses on the finer aspects of travel, where Johnson and his guest bloggers depict all aspects of travel, from secret café finds to one of Chile’s most active volcanoes.
Read more about Robert Falcon Scott and his expeditions in this BBC article.
‘I'm inspired by explorers of the past like David Thompson. Those guys were some of the first to blaze trails to places others had never seen before. How cool would that be to do again?’
Brendan van Son, Brendan’s Adventures
Going back even further than Scott, travel blogger Brendan van Son credits British-Canadian explorer David Thompson for his travel inspiration. Surely, as one of the most famous explorers the world has seen, Thompson stands as an inspiration to many in this field. Throughout his career he mapped over 3.9 million square kilometres of North America, which equates to one fifth of the continent as a whole. As a photographer as well as travel blogger at Brendan’s Adventures, van Son similarly documents his travels in images, much like Thompson did as a map-maker.
‘The Greek historian and traveller Herodotus is an inspiration to us. Perhaps his work is not the most scholarly or objective but his use of storytelling and oral history was an innovative way of telling the history of our kind. He travelled widely, in a time where it would have been unimaginably difficult, and recorded Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece for prosperity.’
Ania and Jon, Hitch-hikers Handbook
Ania and Jon from travel blog the Hitch-hikers Handbook go back even further for their travel inspiration to fifth century BC and Greek historian Herodotus. While it is true that his work is not regarded as the most scholarly, as some are regarded as fanciful and inaccurate, he is renowned as the world’s first historian to collect his materials and arrange them into a historiographic narrative, which makes him one of the most famous explorers and historians of all.
‘Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer, two Belgian explorers. We admire them but wouldn’t want to go in their footsteps since they tend to go to extreme places like the North Pole. But is great to follow their adventures.’
Individually Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer are famous explorers in their own right, but together they made history with their record-breaking crossing of Antarctica on foot and skis by wind traction in 1998. Nina writes the Travelboulevard blog with her partner Jempi, and while the two are known for their great travelling adventures, you couldn’t blame them for not wanting to follow in the footsteps of these two great Antarctic explorers.
‘Although he was most well known as an author, Mark Twain has to be my inspiration for travel. As a child I remember reading Huckleberry Finn, which made me long for adventure and to join Huck on the great Mississippi River. Since then the allure of water and travel continues to stir up my imagination.’
Steve Marriott, Steve’s Scribble
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or, how he is better known, under his pen name Mark Twain, wrote many famous novels, putting him among the great American literary canon. He is particularly known for his work Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is often thought of as “the Great American Novel”. While Twain’s home city of Hannibal, Missouri, provided the setting for this novel and its predecessor The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, his travels around the American West inspired the likes of Roughing It and “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. Marriott’s blog Steve’s Scribble, similarly takes inspiration from his experiences travelling, and his connections with people and the planet as a whole. See his blog for some wonderful and genuine travel inspiration.
‘I don’t know that I have a travel hero. I think every traveler needs to find their own path in someway so I am not trying to walk in the footsteps of anyone in particular.’
Chris Christenson, Amateur Traveler
Christenson of the Amateur Traveler blog has perhaps the most interesting and honest answer of them all; that travelling is a solo expedition in which you discover incredible things for yourself and about yourself. His weekly audio travel podcast, video travel podcast and blog serve as a testament to his love of travelling and, in turn, inspire countless others to discover more of the world.
Perhaps these famous explorers and travel writers have inspired you to travel the world or book a Rhine river cruise, where there are countless examples of culture, history and unique sights to enjoy – it’s never too late to start a travel adventure.
Image Credit: Public Domain Review (flickr.com)
This content was written by Angela Sloan. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.