Time Travel Of A Different Kind
Authored by: Monica  

Even as the concept of time travel has fascinated so many of us, here is taking a different look at the relationship between time and travel. Take travel between Boston and New York. The distance per se is around 190 miles. If you were to drive along at a fairly comfortable pace, you can cover this distance in around 4 hours. But, way back in time, around the year 1790, this distance would take anywhere around 4 days because people relied on carriages. Time and travel indeed have changed massively over the years!


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What adventures these carriage driven travelers must have had! Most of us continue to associate travel with adventure. But if you were to look back at the explorers of yore, then adventure took on a positively mystical note. Can you imagine taking on the elements of the sea based simply on wind power and muscle power? No fancy instruments to guide explorers such as Pêro de Alenquer and Ingólfur Arnarson! Maritime exploration is probably one of the most important reasons for us knowing more about the world as we know it today.


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Whether we are talking about ships, railways, flights and many other modes of transportation, they have all gone through massive changes thanks to advancements in engineering and technology. Way back in the 5th or the 10th or even the 15th century, technology simply meant that normal human beings took to the oceans or even the air and discovered new things as they went along. They would then note down these new features and paths on maps and travel literature.


ancient map

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Maps have been around for 8000 years and more. The ancient Greeks, Arabs and Romans have come up with some extraordinarily detailed maps. It is a testament of the human spirit that cartographers of old have borne the brunt of some extraordinarily harsh elements to travel everywhere and note down their travels so others could benefit from it.


Travel literature such as the works by Ibn Batutta and even diaries of famous people such as Captain James Cook contain a lot of information related to travel. Apart from this history, the growth of engineering has also changed the way people have travelled over time. The transportation revolution that took place around 1790 saw growth in infrastructure. Perhaps the biggest change has been brought out by aviation which has changed the time that it takes an individual to travel; in ways that are unimaginable.


Hot air balloons and even manned kites have all contributed to the presence of modern aviation. The year 1908 marks the advent of commercial aviation when Wilbur Wright took along one employee for the first “passenger flight” as the world knew it. Today, an Airbus A380 is capable of carrying 853 people if it were configured for all economy seats. Such is the power of this aircraft that you can traverse the distance of around 7900 miles between Melbourne and Los Angeles in less than 16 hours.


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There is no doubt of the fact that engineering has reduced the time that it takes us to travel from one point to another. And perhaps it is because of this greatly reduced time that we are able to see the world and enjoy adventures very different from the early explorers!

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