The history of travel is as old as mankind itself. Men have travelled places, far and wide, to discover new frontiers, conquer lands, seize wealth, promote cultural exchange and establish trade contacts. Business travel has evolved over the years, but one thing remained the same: the sheer of travelling. World trade flourished and economy grew due to strong business connects, market relationships and powerful alliances. As we got interested to know how business travel flourished time immemorial, here’s what we came out with, if few reliable online sources have to be believed:

Marco Polo (1254 – 1324) – considered one of the first major world explorers, took holy oil from Jerusalem to China and embarked on an epic journey to Asia.

Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) – was a European explorer who sailed westwards to India. He is credited with finding and documenting routes to the Americas, and refused to believe it wasn’t India!

Vasco da Gama (1469 – 1524) – is considered to be the first major business explorer; a traveller entrepreneur who wanted to get rich. Travelled to India and, for the most part, was cruel, ruthless and greedy.

Jacques Cartier (1491 – 1557) – sailed westwards to Asia. He claimed what is now Canada for France.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859) – explored much of Central and South America. He became the first to suggest South America and Africa were once organized.

Sacagawea (1788 – 1812) – was a Shoshone interpreter famous for being the only woman onboard in the Lewis and Clark expedition into the American West.

David Livingstone (1813 – 1873) – made incredible scientific forays into Africa’s geography, mainly alone the Nile. Hailed as one of the most popular British heroes of the 19th –century.

Gustav Nachtigal (1834 – 1885) – travelled through Africa in the name of international relations and medicine. He is considered to be the most neglected, and the most unjustly so, of the well-known European travellers and explorers in Africa.

Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922) – became the first explorer to reach the North Pole. His Trans-Antarctica expedition of 1914 – 1917 turned out to be one of the most incredible adventure stories of all time.

Tenzing Norgay (1914 – 1986) – became the first to scale Mt.Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. Tenzing almost enjoyed a cult status for his unprecedented achievement.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 – 1997) – arguably the most well-known undersea explorer of modern times. Popularly called the “Father of Scuba Diving”. Thanks to him and his partner Emilie Gagnan, the world got to see some of the marvels of ocean hitherto never seen before.

Laika or Little Curly (1954 -1957) – Known by several other pet names, Laika, the super-dog became the first living animal in space launched into orbit and died a tragic death minutes after the successful launch of Sputnik 1.

Most explorer-travellers above had very little, if nothing to do with ‘business travel’; you must be wondering why we’ve included them all here in the first place. You guessed it right. Alright. But whatever travel discovery or exploration they made, they meant real ‘business’, and put their heart and soul into it for mission success.

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