Marco Polo's 24 Year Vacation

January 25th, 2011 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Marco Polo's 24 Year Vacation

Where exactly did Marco Polo go? An easier question to answer would be where didn’t he go? Polo’s family adventure began even before young Marco hit the high seas. In 1266, his father and uncle found their way to the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, in the location of present day Beijing. Khan had never seen a European before. He was curious about the European legal, political, and religious systems, and asked the Polos to deliver a letter to the Pope requesting 100 Christians versed in the Seven Arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy).

By the time the Polos made it

back to Venice, young Marco was seventeen, had never seen his father until that moment, and was ready to embark on a lifetime of adventure on the return trip to China. By boat and camel the expedition labored, taking three and one half years to reach Khan’s palace. The ensuing years passed with the Polos not being allowed to leave China but playing the role of special visitors to Kublai Khan. They weren’t mistreated and, on the contrary, were encouraged to freely roam the area. In 1292 they found accompanied the Prince of Persia back home – he had come to China in search of a wife – a perilous two year journey around the horn of India. Of the 600 person fleet, only 18 survived, eventually returning to Venice to tell the tale.

While you may not be ready for a globe spanning voyage that takes a quarter of a century, surely you can spare a week here and there to experience more of this big, blue marble we call earth. Don’t you owe it to your family to have adventures to tell?

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