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5 Inspiring Travellers You’ve Never Heard Of

by Vago Damitio

Everyone’s heard of Marco Polo, but there are so many more explorers in our history that have carved paths and discovered new parts of the world.

Here are five amazing travellers you may have never heard of.

The Ancient: Ibn Batutta, a Moroccan traveller is the father of exploration. Born in 1304, he travelled more than 75, 000 miles in his life and visited everywhere from Morocco to Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, China, Turkey, Russia, and Eastern Europe. His motto was, “If possible, never take a road twice.” The journals of Ibn Batutta are fascinating reading even today.

The Comedian: Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorn Clemins, not only travelled the Mississipi in a riverboat—he also travelled the world. During his lifetime, Twain went to Japan, Israel, Europe, South America, Hawaii and Africa. Twain’s books The Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, and Letters from Hawaii are masterpieces of travel literature and filled with gems of travel advice.

The Monarch: King David Kalakaua of Hawaii was the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe.
He was also the first king to visit the United States and not only did he sail around the world once, he enjoyed it so much he did a second time! King Kalakaua died on his second voyage and his sister took his throne. A few years later, she was overthrown by American missionaries and planters. The republic they formed was annexed by the United States in 1898 as a territory.

The Vagabond: Harry Franck was a writer and traveller who wrote more than 30 books about travelling on the cheap in the early 1900s. He often made his own gear and in his stories he has a keen focus on ways of life that have how disappeared. Franck began his travels on a dare when a friend in college said he couldn’t see Europe with $3.18 (all the money he had). His friend was wrong and lost the bet.

The Modern: Chris Guillebeau is a modern vagabond who has been to every country except Norway as this article goes to press. He writes about his travel and inspired entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams with his latest book The $100 Startup. Gullebeau plans to visit Norway in 2013.