Early History of Travel

Published: 24th May 2010
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Nomads are nomads. Nomads are always on the move for their food and flocks. Until man settled down in farming communities mankind could never really get ahead nor develop. It was not until whole groups and communities settled down permanently in rich well watered farmlands in the middle east , did civilization have the surpluses and bounty with which to base their lives and commercial trade upon. Thus the trade routes , silk , gold and spice routes and historical commerce were born and built

Several innovations during the Neolithic age changed the nature of travel forever. Sailing vessels were built in Egypt around 4,000 BC. Road systems were quite advanced in several ancient civilizations. The Romans were excellent road builders. Well -maintained road systems were extremely important to the Roman Empire as they supported rapid communication across the Republic. Third, the Sumerians invented thee wheel around 3500 B.C. One can ask what was the most lucrative product 2,000 years ago, now and 5,0000 years in the future. The answer without question will be that the most profitable and lucrative product will always forever be "jewels and jewelry". Based upon the history and quality of these road and travelway systems thus it can be determined that travel was an important part of commerce, government and cultural exchange during the rule of the Romans. In the latter years of the Roman Empire, the road system included inns , stables for animals, and crude maps or itineraries. Travel was on foot or horseback, in carriages of various types or in a litter - a covered or curtained couch carried by slaves or servants. It can be said that historically the leisure time required for pleasure travel was very scarce indeed in primitive societies - even in the first agricultural communes. As as they communities stabilized , grew and indeed flourished and as surplus food supplies and trade increased, leisure time did appear for some groups of people. Think of ancient Egypt as a role model.

In an epoch book "Guns,Germs and Steel" author Jared Diamond makes clear points that long before white European society reached its technological ability and abilities to traverse the globe in small boats and navigate by way of compass earlier "primitive" mankind were sure getting around. No doubt about that historically and in the established historical record and records. Road systems , too enabled swift and effective military movement which served to keep the Roman Empire intact. In fact due to the quality of life for citizens within the holy empire, the quality of life for citizens within the areas served by the Romans was partly due to diversity of goods, foods and services made possible by such an effective and established network or roads, roadways and conduits. The exchange of products and currency required travel. Caravans and trade expeditions not only moved people , products but also ideas between cultures. The oceans and waterways themselves provided the major routes for travel between the differing cultures centered in the Mediterranean - particularly the Greek, Egyptian and Roman empires. Roads too , supported the swift deployment of military power and facilitated the exchange of good over great and formerly vast distances. Over time the earliest foot trails become overland trade routes. Over time as these routes were maintained and improved, they became the very basis for extensive road systems. Indeed in Europe much of the modern highway systems trace their lineage back to the well laid Roman road systems. In North America - the US, Mexico and Canada most of the highway interstate , transnational road and commerce systems trace their beginning back to early Indian first nations foot and waterway travel routes.

The ever increasing specialization of labour within ancient mores and groupings fostered the growth of travel and the beginnings of the travel and tourism industries. As ancient communities grew in size and stature the tasks and roles of the populations became more and more specialized and indeed skilled.

This made it possible to communities to develop and array of products that increased in quality and renown with the passing of each generation. The leisure time required for pleasure travel was very scarce in primitive societies - even in the first agricultural communities. While earlier hunters and gatherers traveled to survive, the people of primitive agricultural communities were able to set aside regular times for spiritual events and festivals. Its always been a mystery why the metal gold has held such an allure and attraction to mankind as a store of value and portable wealth.C. (Before the Common Era). Even seashells have been used as official currency of the realm. With the coin of the realm, travel costs could be managed without transporting cumbersome, perishable and often heavy bundles of valuables for the purpose of barter and bartering.

The quality of life for community members was signification higher than for members of earlier and pre-existing hunting and gathering tribes. Gradually the number of options increased , of how people could choose to spend their time and their vital and even limited resources. Many historians and anthropologists consider travel for trade and commerce , a most powerful activity in ancient civilizations. Civilizations of great power , long duration and extensive dominion were also known for sophisticated levels of commerce. As commerce grew so did travel for pleasure. The societies of Greece, Egypt and Rome openly encouraged pleasure travel by providing the necessary ways and means. With such support and supports travel greatly contributed to the success of each of these great and marvelous empires of yore. The early hospitality and service industries themselves.


Terry S Vostor

Winnipeg Hotels


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