Tourists through Time

Have you ever thought about where the ancients went on vacation? Jude Knight over at English Historical Fiction has and its surprising where the first tourists with the time and money went for fun and adventure.

People began touring as soon as there was some place to go. From Egypt to Mesopotamia people began to travel just to see new things like the latest pyramid or temple.

Romans set up beach resorts, the rich headed up to the cooler northern climes to escape the summer heat and everyone traveled to the big city to see the sights.

In Medieval Europe, pilgrimages became all the rage and these took on a religious fervor and devotion. Everyone wanted to see the holy land - and these trips could last for months, if not years. Accommodations could be found at local inns or abbeys and, rumor has it, that the Knights Templar acted as a security force for devout travellers.

Once in Jerusalem you could purchase a holy relic or even something more permanent, like a tattoo. Rozzouk Tattoo has been servicing Christian pilgrims since 1300 in the old city.

Beginning in the Renaissance, people of wealth and privilege have been making the grand tour. This was usually conducted by young men after they had completed their schooling and, again, these tours could last for months. Young women, on the other hand, might find themselves in Paris or London under chaperone for a shorter period of time.

After the Napoleonic Wars tourism took off. "The English flooded out across Europe, in a tourist boom that gathered pace and continued until the First World War. From England alone, the volume of travel grew from 10,000 in 1814 to 250,000 in 1860, to one million in 1911."

Today, we travel everywhere. No longer bound by cart, ship or foot, we can hop into the nearest plane (after a long line in your local airport) and go anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours. Where would you like to go in the future? What kind of adventures are in store for you?

Comments

  1. I would love to go to Rome in the future. There is so much history there and it would be amazing to be able to stand where it all took place. Ever since the sixth grade when I first learned about the Roman Coliseum I knew I had to see it myself. I would also love to travel to Seattle, Washington and Oregon. I have heard great things about both and I would like to experience it first hand. Another place I would like to visit would be Florida so that I could go to Disney World.

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  2. It is amazing to learn how long tourism has been around. Dating all the way back to the time the pyramids were built in ancient Egypt. I myself would love to visit other states such as Oregon or Georgia. As for other countries Brazil and Japan are my top choices for travel destinations.

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  3. I have always loved travelling. I would like to backpack through Europe one day, experiencing their culture and learning about their history. I would also love to road trip around North America and hope to be doing that soon. From Florida to Alaskan, only would i experience the individualism of each state, I would also be able to go to Canada for the first time as i have heard many good things about it.

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  4. It is pretty incredible how far we have come in technology that allows us to travel the world in less than 24 hours. I think if i was able to travel the world the one place I really want to go is New Zealand. It has always been a dream of mine to go backpacking in New Zealand and experience the wonderful scenery that New Zealand has to offer.

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  5. I want to travel Europe, especially Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. I took a class about architecture and want to take a tour to see famous architecture and see them in real life instead of just in class. I also want to visit Boston, since my favorite basketball team is the Celtics. I want to go to a Boston home game once in my life. Other than that I would love to go to the Caribbean, or see South America.

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  6. I've never been to UK so I hope that I can go there someday. I feel like England has so many things to offer. It feels the same as the US but different in a way. I'm sure I won't be having language troubles too which is a plus. Although rumors about the weather might not be very supportive, I would still like to visit it someday.

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  7. I can’t imagine the time when people need to actually walk from places to places. Nowadays it's just easy to travel around the world. In the future I would love to explore my home country Indonesia, Indonesia have almost 19,000 islands. The one I wanted to visit the most is an island called Pulau Padar, I have several friends that went there and their pictures were amazing. But to go there I need to spend a night on a boat and hike few hours. On the way there I could do some stargazing and snorkeling too.

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  8. I really want to go to Japan because I've always love Japanese Food and I heard from my friends who have visited Japan that the Japanese food in Japan taste way better than the ones sold in America or Indonesia. I want to visit Japan in spring because that is the cherry blossom season. I also want to visit the beautiful temples and shrines in Kyoto, Japan. Lastly, I want to visit the Disney Park in Tokyo because I've been to nearly every Disney Parks in the world except the one in Tokyo and Anaheim and I always love Disney Parks because it brings nostalgic feelings as if I'm my younger self.

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  9. It is interesting how far society has come, where we had to travel by carts or carriages. Now, we are able to travel by planes, trains, bus, and cars. Traveling has not changed much either, even with advancing technology, people of course need money. This article talked mainly about how much people with a lot of money are able to travel more due to this. Which is still true today, even with traveling, there is a lot of money that people use when they are on vacation. So the more rich someone is, the money is still accounted for when it comes to trips.

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  10. Mursal Mousumi

    I can't live my life without a car, l love driving around discovering new places; for example, one time I accidentally took the back road to Sacramento and it was a whole other world. I'm excited for the Hyperloop to be built since it's a train that takes you from San Francisco to LA in just half an hour. I would love to go basically everywhere on the map. My future journeys comes with the Hyperloop to take me to my favorite city, my car for road trips, a plane to take me to the skies and a cruise ship to take me through the oceans.

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  11. I find it fascinating how much we innovated from riding cart and carriages, taking long voyages to get to their destinanation. While nowadays transportation has become efficient. If I had to choose where to go I will go to Iceland. Iceland seems sucha nice place to go to because it is so cold there and many natural attractions to see. Such as the Blue Lagoon or The Northern Lights. The Blue Lagoon looks so cool since it is natural and it is warm while Iceland is cold, which is very fascinating. The Northern Lights, from the picture I have seen it is so beautiful and perfect. I would love to see the Northern Lights in person. All the waterfalls in Iceland would be very beautiful to see. I would like to go with my family, not just my mom and dad. I would like to go with my whole family on my mom's side since our whole have not been on a trip together in awhile. So it will be an exciting experience to have with all my family.

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  12. In the future I would like to travel to the islands. I know that may sound very basic but really! I would love to travel to somewhere relaxing with a beautiful view. Somewhere unique and beyond normal expectations. I would love to take a trip to Bora Bora or Hawaii. From what I've heard the view is amazing and the weather is humid. Personally, I don't mind the humidity as long as there is some type of air-conditioning. I've always been a wanderer. I enjoy being exposed to new things and different places. Going on a living spree is one of the things on my bucket list. I look forward to making this dream a reality one day. Very soon...

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  13. It is interesting to learn that people also traveled for leisure in the past, and how tourism was very popular. In the future, I would like to go to places I have never visited before- such as Greece, Greenland, New Zealand and Dubai. The list just goes on; there are too many places on my bucket list. Although I have traveled a lot, I believe every destination has its own beauty to offer. The places I'd love to visit all have picturesque landscape and an array of outdoor activities. From going on a road trip in New Zealand that has a lot of mountain plains, to coasting through the islands in Greece, and riding an ATV or camel in the hot deserts of Dubai. I enjoy exploring new places and learning new cultures as I believe every culture has its own unique component that no other culture has. Furthermore, I'd like to challenge myself by taking on activities that I would usually prefer to opt out from!

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  15. Our ability to travel wherever we want when we want is truly amazing. I’ve only ever been to Mexico by plane and I’ve always just visited the same three places. One day I hope to go on a cruise destined for Mexico and explore some Mexican beaches. From a young age I’ve always wanted to visit England specifically London and the English countryside just because it looks so beautiful. And just for fun I want to go to Canada just to see what it's like over there.

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  16. I found it very interesting and kind of crazy how some people, when traveling, would get tattoos instead of just buying an object as a souvenir. That was a very spontaneous decision they made. In the future I would love to travel to Brazil and visit Rio de Janeiro. The famous statue of “Christ the Redeemer” located there has always caught my attention for some reason. I would be interested in learning more about it and why it is there. Trying out Brazilian food is another thing I’d look forward to since I believe food helps you connect with other people and learn more about them. Another place I'd also like to travel to is of course Paris, to see the famous Eiffel tower. I think that would be such a beautiful and mesmerizing view.

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  17. I thought it was very cool to see what people back then considered "toursity". In the future I would love to travel to France because I learned the language for 5 years so it would be really cool to go to the country and speak their language. I would also like to visit Guatemala because the capitol of my church ministry is there and it's located in the center of this really beautiful lake. What I love about Guatemala is their jewelry because it is all hand made and the colors are so bright and well patterned.

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  18. Its crazy to me that humans even in the past wanted to go on vacations. I wonder how intelligent they actually were because it seems they enjoy a lot of the things humans do now showing the similarity of the present and the past humans. Maybe the people in the past had spring breaks to and went to another country to have fun and get drunk. Traveling is a little easier now and takes a lot less effort. So maybe they did not have spring breaks. You would think it would be hard to travel in the past with all the wars going on. I guess there will always be a human desire to explore and see new things.

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  19. It is very interesting to learn that tourism had been around for a long time. In the past, even though travel was much slower compare to today, people still take the time to go on a trip and get out of their regular activity. It is very interesting to know that the idea of taking a break from our day-to-day activity had been around for a very long time. Hopefully, in the future i would be able to go and travel. Visiting the UK has always been my dream, and hopefully, i will be able to go and visit in the near future.

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  20. It is such a blessing for us that we do not have to spend a lot of time to travel from one place to another. With the advancement of technology, everything becomes easier and more convenient and traveling is one of them. I personally would love to explore the world, visiting all the places that I have not travelled to before. There are so many beautiful places in the world that have unique culture and I am hoping to at least experience many of the cultures myself. I have always been adventurous since a very young age and I enjoy it a lot, in fact I have gone to school in three different countries with different culture. To me, traveling is an escape hatch and a way for me to discover the real me. While going to different places, I have met many new people from different walks of life, and they taught me a lesson; to always be grateful. Therefore, I would love to go to countries that I have never been before such as South Africa, Egypt and Antarctica.

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  21. I find the thought of a man from the 1400's buying a souvenir hilarious. I am not sure why I find it so funny, but it certainly makes people from that time period feel more relatable and human to me.

    If I could travel anywhere I would want to see another planet. With the renewed interest in space travel thanks to people like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the possibility of an ordinary person like me going to Mars someday is not such a far cry as it once was. Elon Musk wants to make his rockets reusable so that commercial space travel can be more viable. If that means that I will get to don a space suit in my life time then awesome. I want to experience zero gravity. I want to place my hand on the ground of another planet and see what it feels like. It will probably feel anti climactic (like just normal sand or dirt), but knowing I'm on another plant feeling the ground would be exciting enough.

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  22. I cannot say that historical tourism is something that I have ever thought of before. It is so easy to forget that the people we learn about in history books are just that- people. Granted, not everyone was able to pick up and leave their lives months and years at a time, but it is interesting to give a thought as to how some of these people used to enjoy the same type of pleasures we do today. I found most interesting and somewhat comical that these historical travelers even received souvenirs from the places they would visit. It's amusing to think that through all this time, in some ways, humans haven't really changed. This summer, I actually have the pleasure of staying with my older sister in Ireland for two months. Being that Ireland has been established for much longer than the United States, it will be interesting to possibly view the country as possible tourists of medieval Europe have done before me.

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  23. Travelling in ancient time surely is a very big challenge back then. Transportation-wise, they were still lacking in vehicles or any motorized vehicles. They have to ride a horse, carriage, or even walk, and the definition of tourist itself is commuting from one place to another in a big scale, while they ability to reach far distance is kind of limited. Personally, I like to travel with my families and friends, and in today’s technology, airplanes, cars, ships are very helpful. For me, visiting somewhere far from where I am is a big challenge. I have to deal with the long drive or flight, and also the jetlag. So, when I’m visiting somewhere far, I must have a good reason to go there, for example because maybe the place that I’m visiting has a very nice scenery, or maybe it includes some famous buildings or anything. I am pretty sure that people back then has a good reason when they have to travel for a long distance, maybe like diplomatic purposes, or even moving from one place to another.

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  24. Trying to travel during ancient time would be very difficult. I forgot how difficult it would be to travel across the world at that time. Nowadays we have transportation anywhere and we can get cross the would in a day by plane. Ancient tourist are very strong because I would not be able to make it that far by foot or horse without giving up.

    if I could go anywhere right now it would be St. Martins islands because beautiful scenery. I was suppose to go on a trip with family to St. Martins but it never happened. I was told about St. Martins from a friend that has visited there before. I would go surfing and deep see diving to see what is on he bottom of the ocean. Hiking every day of the trip is a mandatory because I would love to exercise while looking at a beautiful island.


    -Turner Phillips

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