This is a part of the Adventurers Past & Present series, looking at adventurous individuals from both the depths of history and the modern day, to inspire our own everyday adventures.

Adventurers Past & Present: Ibn Battuta

In the fourteenth century most world travel served a specific purpose; to discover new countries, to partake in wars, to trade. Ibn Battuta, however, was the exception to the rule. Like many travellers of the modern day, he just had the urge to wander.

Born in Morocco in 1304, Ibn left his home at the age of twenty-one for a religious pilgrimage to Mecca. Thirty years later he was still on the road, having travelled extensively throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

In total he travelled around 75,000 miles, quite a feat considering there were no motorised transport options available at the time. His travels were not without incident however; he was attacked by bandits, almost drowned in a sinking ship and came close to being beheaded by a tyrant ruler. The worst experiences often make for the best stories though, right?

Ibn Battuta unfortunately kept no journal of his travels, but did dictate his memories to a scribe upon returning home. You can read excepts of A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling, often referred to as The Rihla or The Journey, over here.

Ibn Battuta’s story is still kept alive today in the United Arab Emirates, where the world’s largest themed mall is dedicate to the explorer. Each section of the Ibn Battuta Mall represents a different region that the man visited, including Andalusia, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia, India and China. That certainly sounds like my kind of shopping experience!

Which world travellers inspire your everyday adventures?