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Tyler Barber Digital Essay Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you were one

of the first humans to inhabit earth. Now pretend that you felt adventurous, rather the curious type per se, and decided to walk over to the big hill in the distance and see what was on the other side. After traversing the great distance and cresting the hill, you hurried back to your family to tell them all of the wonders on the other side of the big hill. Little did he know, but he had just partaken in the phenomenon called travel, more specifically, the earliest forms of foot travel. Scientist believes that cavemen were probably nomadic; meaning they roamed from place to place frequently (tens of thousands of years ago during the Stone Age). They went in search of food, water, shelter, and for hunting.

Although most families were probably nomadic, perhaps some families and/or relatives stayed in one place (typically where they were born) and shared resources because of the dangers associated with traveling on foot, the length of time it took to relocate, or just being afraid of the unknown. Thus, these early humans could never have imagined the evolution of travel that we have today. Hence, there must have been a lot of sore feet dont you think?

Throughout recorded history, humans have built their villages nears rivers, lakes, or waterways. The water access allowed the villagers to travel down the channel to other places with much less effort than walking, and it was quicker too. Likewise, as evidenced today, many of the largest cities of the world are built around or near major waterways. Not only to the waterways provide food, in the form of fish, but are a drinking water reservoir and recreation source (i.e., boating, fishing, skiing, etc.). Additionally, they provide for major trade routes and are considered tourist attractions.

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As time went on, people started to realize the advantages of letting the animals do the traveling for themall they had to do was hitch a ride, so to speak. Thus, horses became a huge commodity with early settlers. Not only were the animals faster and stronger than humans, but they had more endurance as well and could travel great distances. Horses could even carry large and heavy items with relative ease, such as a wagon being pulled behind the horses full of trade or merchandise. Also, horses were used to haul a family across a large distance via covered wagons. This was truly a breakthrough in travel, and people couldnt have imagined it could get any better.

One of the most technological advancements in modern history has to be the invention of the train or locomotive. No single invention can take more credit for building America, than the locomotive. These massive iron horses could travel all across the country, while transporting practically anything that could be fitted into its compartments. Now, cross-country travel was possible. Moreover, the ability to carry many people at once and the speed at which it traveled no doubt helped take people places that they have never been before. Additionally, it helped paved the way for the construction of the many towns and cities across our beautiful land. As a result, big cities were sprouting up all around the railways as it brought in big money, trade, and supplies. Unquestionably, this was truly the beginning of modern travel as we know it. There was another form of transportation that was equal in significance to the locomotive, but had far greater carrying capacity and could travel where no railroad tracks could be laid. It was a time in our history for large boats or commercial ships to travel across great expanses of waters and their popularity was gaining tremendous steam, so to speak.

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In order to see new lands and cross great continents, a ship was a persons only alternative. Traveling was becoming more common amongst peopleso much so that it became pure enjoyment to go to these new places and come back to tell your relatives and friends what was seen. Thus, the power or steam boat became very popular to travel across the ocean to distant lands. Not only did it provide safe means for us to travel to other countries, it also allowed other people, some called immigrants, to leave their homelands in search of a new home in America and/or to escape persecution. This opened up many opportunities for people, and businesses thrived off revenue coming from this form of travel.

In the early nineteenth century, the automobile became more and more popular in terms of travel. No longer would you have to have to rely on a horsepowered buggy to take you places; instead, a person could purchase a gasolinepowered machine that could take you and your family across town, to and from work, or across the country. Call it a love affair, but the automobile, which could be attained by most people, literally took America by storm and changed the way we look as personal travel forever! The automobile was much more efficient than a horse, didnt need rest, and you didnt have to clean the p_ _ _p off of the streets. Throughout history, automobiles, a.k.a, cars, have become extremely reliable, luxurious, and a necessity part of life. In my opinion, its one of the most important, if not most, of all forms of travel. With the freedom to travel on your own (not dependent on other transportation schedules), these vehicles even make or form a fashion statement of its drivers. What could be more American?

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Undeniably, the newest way in high-tech travel is the airplane. The airplane has literally changed the world in that it allows people to travel great distances in the most expedient time. Imagine you wanted to travel across the country, from Charlotte, NC to San Diego, CA (over 3,000 miles). By car, it would take you several days, about three or four. By plane, youre looking out mere hours, around four or five. Think of any place in the free world, and the plane can take you there. Thats a remarkable piece of engineering! As technology continues to progress, planes will become even safer and faster. Theyre already the safest modes of transportation. Its a fact that people are more likely to be killed in a car accident, than to crash in a plane. In summary, the author has attempted to provide a written and visual depiction of the evolution of travel. It started with ordinary foot travel, progressed to horses, moved to locomotives, continued to ships, proceeded to cars, and advanced to planes. Its truly fascinating to think about all of the means of travel, and how technology has changed it for the better. Why do we travel you might ask? The simple answer is to explore, but its more than thatits may be because there is a primeval force inside some of us that pushes us to do so! In conclusion, travelling plays a key role in our everyday lives. Quite simply, life without traveling would be boring. Traveling transforms us in ways that nothing else can. Why would you want to stay home, and not see the wonders of this world? Paul Theroux said it best when he stated, "I travel to find obstacles, to discover my limits, to ease the passage of time, to reassure myself that innocence and antiquity exist, to search to links from the past, to flee the nastiness of urban life and the paranoia, if not the outright dementia, of the technological world." So whats stopping you? Happy travels!