Is it possible to still make discoveries in the modern World, to enjoy the exhilaration of exploring and finding something new? The opportunities to explore unchartered regions are diminishing but there are still some available for those sufficiently driven to do so.
Most of the ocean floor remains unexplored but even on dry land there are still a few exciting destinations to be found. Only recently undiscovered tribes have been found in the Amazon, parts of the Congo, Papua New Guinea and some tepuis in Venezuela are still relatively unexplored.
The opportunities to be on an expedition which will open up such areas however are beyond the scope of most of us. Is it possible for the average traveller to experience the emotions that the great adventurers of the ‘golden age’ of discovery such as Cook or Magellan?
Cavers are modern day explorers, the elite of the sport venture into unexplored cave systems, discovering new territory and glimpsing what few of us will ever experience.
Today it maybe difficult to imagine how Cook must have felt when he first dropped anchor in Tuuranga-nui (Poverty Bay) or when Columbus first set foot on the ‘New World’ even if he didn’t have a clue where he was.
“opportunities for discovery and endless adventure”
However discovery is a matter of perspective, finding something unexpected when exploring a jungle might be easy but cities or even beaches can provide just as much excitement with a suitable attitude. I have often discussed the value of travelling with the viewpoint of a child on this site. Children can find adventure and excitement in circumstances that many find mundane. If just a little of that childlike wonder can be rekindled every trip will provide opportunities for discovery and endless adventure.
Taking a trek along a gorge or wadi, suddenly coming around a bend as the whole chasm spectacularly opens up or a hidden emerald coloured pool instead just begging to be dived into should excite anybody.
“usually requires some celebration”
That feeling of being lost in a North African medina before turning the corner to find a great little souk or maybe street vendor is worth getting lost for. I often get excited when stumbling across a new bar or coffee shop, so much so it usually requires some celebration!
Jungles are adventurous locations with plenty of challenges and even opportunities to see something few westerners ever will. It is even possible a new species of plant or creature may be found, although it is unlikely many would realise.
Fossil hunting on a beach or quarry is a modern form of exploration, crack open a rock and it is possible that something human eyes have never seen will be revealed. That is true discovery and if it that isn’t exciting enough then I suggest checking your pulse!
The World is fall of small discoveries, a few are large ones, some will be personal others genuinely new which nobody else has experienced but without exception they are discoveries.
“Help me finish this post”
This post is not really finished; it is only part way through and there is much still to discuss. I want to hear your ideas and experiences regarding modern day exploration and discovery.
Please add your comments, what are your perceptions and who has or does inspire you, modern and past adventurers? Help me finish this post, your input is important, you all will have personal insights and experiences which will benefit other readers.
I am looking forward to reading your comments and using them to finish this post.