“Travel - it leaves you speechless, and then it makes you into a storyteller.” -- Ibn Battuta
Some say that a hero is someone who does something extraordinary, while others might say that it’s simply someone who inspires others. Regardless of how you define it, heroes have always played a key role in society. Whether they are real-life figures or characters in stories, heroes can capture our imaginations and inspire us to be better people. In each Hero History, we’re going to look at the history of heroes and explore some of the most famous examples to inspire our modern lives. Take a seat, relax, and learn about some of history’s most inspiring people!
Ibn Battuta is the stuff of legends. He is one of the greatest travelers of all time. No one can say for sure exactly how many places Ibn Battuta visited, but all can agree on one thing: It was a very high number. Over 30 years, he traveled an astonishing 75,000 miles across three continents! His travels spanned from his home in Morocco to China, India, Russia, and even Timbuktu. He was an explorer, a scholar, and an adventurer. Ibn Battuta wasn't just a globetrotting guy on a mission to find himself His travels also changed the world and his creative mind forever. Read on to learn more about who some call the “Tasteful Traveler”
Ibn Battuta was born in Tangiers in 1304 and grew up in a family of esteemed Islamic scholars. His father encouraged him to study Sharia law, so that’s what he did—but it wasn’t enough for him. He was a young man and he had wanderlust. At age 21, he left home telling no one and began his journey. He set out from Morocco intending to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
After completing his pilgrimage (which took two years!), Ibn Battuta didn’t stop traveling; instead, he kept going! He crossed vast oceans and deserts, explored cities large and small, and even met with Sultans along the way. He visited distant lands such as modern-day Iran, Iraq, India, China, Mali, Tanzania and more—all while recording his experiences. His writings provide us with invaluable insights into the cultures and customs of these places during that time period.
What made Ibn Battuta stand out from other travellers was not only his incredible stamina but also his willingness to embrace different cultures. He interacted with people from all walks of life—rich or poor—and never judged them based on their race or religion. This open-mindedness helped foster greater understanding between cultures that were previously unfamiliar with one another.
When Ibn Battuta returned to Fez in 1354, the Sultan of Morocco listened to his report. He also listened to Ibn Battuta’s other adventures and ordered him to stay in Fez. The Sultan wanted these stories to be written down to amuse his family. A popular form of writing at the time was travel writing, especially accounts of the Hajj. Thus began his retelling of his adventures that had begun 29 years previously. Through observations and hearsay, history and other oddities, Ibn Battuta weaved his story. It was called A Masterpiece to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling or The Rihla. When The Rihla was completed, his story had little impact on the Muslim world. It was, however, copied by hand, and the entire book could be found in some libraries, or carried around by travelers who followed him on part of his journeys. Only in the 19th century did European scholars discover Arabic books and translate them into French, German, and then English. Upon being translated, the book gained the attention it deserves as a historical record.
While Ibn Battuta’s travels certainly impacted Europe’s understanding of the world around them they also had a profound effect on Ibn Battuta himself. During his travels, he gained a unique perspective of the world – one that was not limited by cultural boundaries or traditional beliefs. This newfound knowledge allowed him to see things from multiple perspectives and open up creative avenues for him to explore further. He began writing poetry and stories about what he experienced during his travels – something that may not have happened if he hadn’t embarked on such an ambitious journey!
Ibn Battuta’s legacy lives on today—not just through the wealth of knowledge he provided us, but also through how he shaped our views towards travel and cultural exchange. His courage to explore new unknown places has inspired countless adventurers since then to take risks in their own lives in order to discover something new or gain fresh perspectives on things they thought.
Through this experience, we can learn a valuable lesson: no matter where life takes us or what obstacles we face along the way, there is always something new to learn if we remain open-minded enough to explore it! Take a page from Ibn Battuta's book and explore. Who knows where your journey will take you?
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Thanks for reading, Superfriends.
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