What makes Ibn Battuta the greatest traveler?

Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta was a wanderer from the 14th Century who spent nearly 30 years of life traveling across different areas of the world. When it comes to the title of the most celebrated traveler in history, the majority of the people mention the name of Marco Polo due to the considerable distance that he traveled through. But if we look into the journey that Ibn Battuta embarked on, we discover many reasons that make us believe that he was the most celebrated traveler in history.

The Dangers Ibn Battuta Endured:

Traveling may seem like an overwhelming thing to do, but it is, in fact, full of risks and dangers. Battuta spent almost half of his life on a journey, and he traveled across 40 modern day countries. He moved across large strips of Eastern Hemisphere and mostly moved by land. He often found himself in extreme situations like wars and rebel attacks and many shipwrecks. To minimize the dangerous aspect of traveling, he often joined caravans to keep himself surrounded by people.

Why Did Ibn Battuta Choose To Travel?

Different people have different motives for traveling, some do it to find work, and some do it to find themselves. Ibn Battuta’s motive for traveling was purely based on wanderlust, the thirst to explore the world around him. He had no partner in crime neither did he start his journey with a caravan, instead all he has was a burning desire to go and explore the wonders of the world.\

The Interesting Beginning:

Many people don’t know that Ibn Battuta started his journey by riding on a donkey. After traveling solo for a while, he joined a caravan on its way to North Africa. As Battuta was still young at that time and he had minimal prior experience of traveling, he could not bear the hardships of the journey and became sick. His sickness was so severe that he often had to tie himself to a saddle to make sure that he will not collapse.

Despite all the illness, Battuta managed to gather up the strength to marry a young woman during one of his stopovers. This woman was not the only one he married, and during his entire journey, he married ten women and divorced them as he went along with his journey, thus setting a real example of moving on.

The Dream That Drove Him:

Ibn Battuta once had a dream that a big bird carried him on its wings and took him towards the east and left him there. He asked a Holy man to interpret his vision, and the Holy man predicted that Battuta will travel across the world and will spend most of his life as a traveler. This interpretation had a great effect on Battuta, and he decided to fulfill the prediction.

The Trip to Orient:

The trip to Orient was the most horrifying experience of Battuta’s entire journey as his group found itself under the attack of Hindu rebels. The shooting occurred while Battuta’s group was on their way to the Indian coast and the rebels not only kidnapped Battuta but also robbed him off of everything he owned. He somehow managed to survive the attack by making it to the ocean where his ship suffered a wreck, and many of his group members died.

After this horrific incident, Battuta went to China and fell in love with the natural beauty of the country. According to him, China was the best country for traveling and also the safest however he didn’t spend much time with the non-Muslim community of the country and only stayed close to the Muslim community.

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