Is it possible to still make discoveries in the modern World, to feel some exhilaration from 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 exciting destinations to discover. 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 for inclusion on an expedition which will explore such areas however are beyond the scope of most. 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 élite 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 offer 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 find adventure and excitement in circumstances that many consider mundane. If just a little of that childlike wonder is rekindled, every trip will offer opportunities for discovery and endless adventure.
Taking a trek along a gorge or wadi, suddenly coming around a bend as the chasm spectacularly opens up or a hidden, emerald coloured pool, almost irresistible to any swimmer 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!
are The 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. Split open a rock, and it is possible that something human eyes have never seen is 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 about 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 comments are important, you all 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.