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Unique Travel Stories

Posted January. 26, 2008 07:04,   


“I caught a lioness. Porters carried them alternately but it weighed quite a bit. The sun set on the horizon. A lion followed after smelling the lioness. On the other side is a rhinoceros, a bigger danger, because it is a fool and attacks anytime. Watching the lion on one side and the rhinoceros on the other, I managed to reach camp.”

This is a part of an adventure described in the book “Worlds to Explore: Classic Tales of Travel and Adventure from National Geographic.” Adventure travel columnist Mark Jenkins selected the most interesting among thousands of travel stories published by the monthly magazine written between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Travel back then was quite different. Today, people are aware of the dangers in the Savannah of Africa, the deserts of the Middle East, and the jungles of the Amazon. But outside of places where most people lived in those days was an unknown world with poor transportation and communication. In other words, the book is more about exploration and adventure rather than travel.

Among the stories are a couple who honeymooned in Africa and went lion hunting; a baroness who snuck into a mosque; and the adventure of a pearl farmer who ran after pirates to retrieve pearls.

The authors of each story have different backgrounds. The lion-hunting story is about U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who went to Africa in 1909 after leaving office. Other people – a diplomat, a reporter and a housewife – tell their own unique stories.

The authors seem to have accepted even small things with amazement and surprise. They are apparently gifted travelers compared to people today, who are not fazed by outlandishness.