The field of traveling contributed a lot to the development of the major sciences of humanity. People got an opportunity to watch the events of ancient times and evaluate the traditions of other nations. The analysis of the achievements and trips peculiarities of two well-known travelers Macro Polo and Cabeza de Vaca underlines the characteristics of the social development experienced a long time ago.
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Macro Polo is considered to be an outstanding Westerner who traveled on Silk Road. His uncle and father being active participators of the journeys accompanied his trips. All his achievements and the most significant places and periods were fixed in the books. It should be stated that the observations of the traveler are thoroughly described with complete emotionality and brightness of the episodes.
The first trip in Polo’s experience was at the age of six when his uncle and father made up their minds to travel to Cathay, China. After their return to Venice, Polo was already about 15 years old. Two years had passed and Polo together with his father and uncle decided to embark on one of the most significant journeys to Cathay for the second time. The trip was marvelous and full of events. They managed to pass through Persia, Armenia, Afghanistan, Pamirs, and through the Silk Road up to China. The travel covered a long trip combining the impressions got in different countries of the world. From the very beginning, the group of travelers visited the southern Caucasus and Georgia. The Caspian Sea western shores were next to be examined by Macro Polo. The journey reached Tabriz and then continued to the Hormuz being on the Persian Gulf. After that, the members of the traveling staff decided to continue their trip through Kerman in order to reach Badakhshan. This place made Macro Polo stay for about a year because of the illness. The next point to visit in their trip was one of the highest picks in the world called Pamirs.
The trip of Macro Polo is widely known in world history. The places visited by him are notable for the traveler by their people and traditions. He tried to remember every moment and transfer his experience in his book in order to reflect it on the readers. It is important to stress that the travelers remembered people met by them at different places. Thus, Macro Polo tried to underline the most significant peculiarities of every nation and its traditions. For example, being at Yarkand, he noted that people were far prone to goiter blamed by him because of the vodka drinking. The traditions of other lands amazed him a lot. Being at Pem, Macro Polo noted that the attitude to the travelers could also differ depending on the country you live in. Thus, wives never wait for their husbands to be on trips for more than twenty days. The local community made this fact to be legal, so husbands try to find new wives during their trips.
One of the most outstanding places visited by Macro Polo is considered to be the Gobi desert. This place was full of dangerous moments and interactions. The description of this desert is rather emotional which gives an opportunity to understand the traveler’s feelings being there. The desert is long enough and according to Macron Polo, it would take about a year to cross it. The traveling of Marco Polo is bright enough and it is impossible to describe all of them in a brief form. One should state that the moments of traveling allowed Macro Polo not only to get rich experience and being familiar with many cultures but open a new history of many small nations all over the world.
Cabeza de Vaca is considered to be one more famous traveler who gained respect due to his outstanding trips and new discoveries. He was the first traveler from Europe who managed to cross North America and provide a thorough description of the people he met during his trips.
The analysis of Vaca’s trips gives an opportunity to evaluate the contribution he made to world history and social sciences. Thus, his traveling team was the first one to visit American Buffalo. The writings of the traveler appeared to be useful for the Europeans of future generations because they helped to understand the nature and the character of the Indians and perceive them as human beings. His experience in traveling is quite rich and he managed to fight a lot of grave obstacles in order to stay alive and hand down all the events and peculiarities of his trips. Cabeza de Vaca suffered the time of slavery being captured by the Indians; nevertheless, he managed to describe the forms of life of these tribes. According to Cabeza de Vaca, the times of famine helped him to understand the tribes’ rules of surviving. They ate almost everything nature could give them. Their food contained even spiders and poisonous snakes. Such conditions brought the strong-willed and brave character of the traveler. He stated that his team could run without any stop or rest for days in order to survive. Cabeza de Vaca and his members of the traveling team were accepted by the Alvares tribe. The admiration in the description of this tribe allows us to evaluate the warrior character of the people who belonged to the tribe. The traveler considered them to be stronger than all other men, more agile and brave. The traveling of Cabeza de Vaca lasted for many years. He managed to live in many world states which were unknown to people at that time. His return to Spain after the long trip took some time to adjust to the usual way of life and style, manners, habits. The thing was that he could not even slip in bad but on the floor and wear the usual clothes being modern and popular in the contemporary society.
So, the analysis of two different travelers’ achievements allowed us to evaluate their contribution to the major sciences of humanity. Their books created during the trips give an opportunity to see the reflection of time, to get acquainted with the new nations and examine their style of life for the purpose of comparison with the modern one.
Polo, Macro & RLatham, Ronald. The Travels of Macro Polo. Penguin Classics. 1958.
Cabeza de Vaca. The Journey and Ordeal of Cabeza de Vaca: His Account of the Disastrous First European Exploration of the American Southwest. 2004.