It’s thanks to many curious travelers throughout history that we are able to explore so much of the world today. Their endless curiosity pushed them to the furthest reaches of the known world and gave us access to places we had only dreamed about before. To help prepare you for your next trivia night, here’s a background on some of our favorite adventure-seekers.
Meriwether Lewis & William Clark
This duo famously led the first American expedition across the western United States in search of a practical (and direct) water route across the country, with the goal of establishing new trade and commerce.
While Magellan is credited with being the first man to circumnavigate the globe in 1522, it was actually the rest of his expedition that completed the whole journey. The trip began in 1519, when Magellan and his crew set off in search of the Spice Islands for King Charles I of Spain. Unfortunately for Magellan, he was killed during a battle in the Philippines in 1521 and was not able to witness the mission’s end just one year later.
Vasco de Gama
In 1497, de Gama sailed from Lisbon to link Europe to Asia by sea for the first time in history. His mission was perhaps the highlight of the Age of Discovery and was the longest anyone had spent at sea up to that point. His discovery was so famous that it cemented his role as a Portuguese hero: Portugal’s epic national poem_, _Os Lusíadas, features de Gama as the narrator.
Surrounded by rumor and controversy, many believe this Icelandic explorer landed in North America long before Christopher Columbus ever stepped foot on the continent. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, Erikson founded a Norse settlement in what is now the northern area of Newfoundland in Canada.