22 May 2011
Travelling: The Adventure
Travel was dangerous and bizarre, and often extremely frightening. There were stories of dangerous monsters and horrible forests and the all-too mundane bandits. But there was something else at play, too.
After all, there are people who in these modern days have never left their home state except maybe for vacation. Being surrounded by Navy personnel, you meet a lot of people who will easily tell you that they're from [STATE X] and had never been outside of it, for any reason, ever. (For some reason Texans and Southerners are particularly proud of this fact. Rednecks, huh?) They just have never felt the need to leave, and so they didn't.
I think a good bit about the medieval mind could be learned from people like that. Not to sound condesending, naturally, but really. The ancient man could leave only at great peril and expense, so often did not, regardless of their own personal desires. The modern man can travel across the world at extreme safety (airplane travel being one of the safest modes of travel in the history of mankind), and at relatively minor cost. As I speak, I sit in a place at least a thousand miles from my home (which is the 6th place I've lived for any moderate length of time, but let's not go there), and it doesn't cost more than 100$ round trip.
The point is that most people simply don't like travelling. They're comfortable in their tiny worlds, content with having a place in a smaller ecosystem. To an ancient man, his village might be his entire world and he'll never have a real chance to change it. They're too busy trying to make a living. Even if he could leave, it's hard getting used to new places and new people, having to learn new landmarks and new idioms and currencies and economies and everything. To some people, it's not worth it even if it is feasible.
It's early, please forgive the unclear thoughts. I've got to go- I'll finish this thought later.