If you are traveling to see the world, which way do you go? Can you call yourself a traveler if you only stay on the main route? Do you need to venture farther afield to see it all?
The majority of people take, what I like to refer to as the East-West route. They basically go from east to west, or the other-way round, along the equator of the planet. The America to Europe travel. Or the America to china and South East Asia. Some People are adventurous and extend or connect the two lines together, adding stops in the Holy Land, India, and the like.
There is a valid reason for this seemingly straightforward route choice. It’s called history. The expansion of the European Renaissance, the Crusades to the Holy Lands, the conquests of Alexander, The Great Silk Road, they all go basically West-to-East. The majority of the great civilizations are located along the wider part of the equator. The desire to explore and expand boundaries have historically been along this path.
This means that most all of the old, cool stuff that travelers want to see and experience are also located along this wider path around the equator. This being said, the answer to the original question can probably be answered as yes, you can call yourself a traveler if you go this way. A person can see a great piece of the world going this way. They will end their journey with stories to last a lifetime.
For full disclosure, I have spent a large portion of my traveling life utilizing the West-East route. Normally, exploring Europe and the North African area. I like the Old Masters and the great stone cathedrals of Europe.
Recently, however, I have started to expand my horizons. I added sections of the globe that were farther afield. I did so, because I wanted to see other cultures and old stuff not found in, what I like to call, the historic belt. Trips to Central America, and South America, and most recently out to the Land Down Under (Australia). There were new things to see in these places; like rain forests, the great lands of the Inca and the Nazca, and natural wonder like the Great Barrier Reef.
I would submit that travelers should add diversion to their standard routes. Going north to south can add new favor and excitement to traveling. The regions outside the equatorial belt offer many natural and cultural highlights that should be added to any traveler’s agenda.
I am happy to confess that a person can spend the majority of their life traveling around just one continent and not experience everything it has to offer. I have been traveling around the continental United States for over twenty years and still haven’t seen all of it, by any stretch of the imagination. If you enjoy Europe and the experience you are having there, then by all means continue to go. But, if like me, you like to see what new things the world has to offer, I would say that you should spend some time going North-to-South.
Lawrence of Arabia made a lasting name for himself by traveling the Silk Road. Doctor David Livingstone did the same thing by exploring the darker parts of the African continent. I give you these two examples to show that, in my opinion, there is no Right Path. Travelers travel, and explorers explore. It’s the quest that makes it all worthwhile. The going and seeing, not what way you took to get there.
Yes, you can be a traveler going around the globe from west to east. Yes, you can be a traveler going around the globe more north to south. I can guarantee that there is a never-ending host of things to see along the way.
The Monkey. The Nazca Lines, in the deserts outside Nazca, Peru, 2012 range. Taken, obviously, from the air.