Aside from being a popular water game...who really was Marco Polo?

A Venetian Galley

Marco Polo (1253 - 1324) was a Venetian traveler to Asia. He was born into a wealthy family, where he sustained an acceptable education. He sailed with his father, Niccolo and uncle, Maffeo, early on in his life. 

Marco Polo travelled to Mongol Court of Khubilai Khan in China, where he earned Kubilai Khan's trust. He there worked with Kubilai Khan in his court and helped them with travel as well. Marco also helped expand trade through Asia and India. Also, Polo helped make the Silk Road very prosperous after the diseases.

Map of Marco Polo's Travels...

Polo traveled farther than any of his predecessors had, during his 24- year long journey on the Silk Road.  After spending 17-years in China alone, Polo finally returned Venice, Italy in 1295. In fact he hadnt been home for two decades, because he was gone for that long, Marco found it hard to speak Italian again. Marco spent the rest of his life living in Venice with his wife Donata Badoer and three daughters: Fantina, Moreta, and Belella Polo; until his death in January 8, 1324

Marco Polo was a fearless pioneer who would travel every corner of the world for the sake of adventure and discovery for the new world. He is mostly known for expanding the trade routes in Asia, including the Silk Road. Marco travelled to China with his father and uncle where Marco began to travel in expeditions for Khubilai Khan. Marco also became well known for writing books about his travels and efforts. "Livres des Merveilles du Monde was the name of his most famous book 

which inspired many, young and old, to travel, expand their knowledge, and discover new things.

Marco Polo was known by many names.  One was "Il Millione," which means One Millione...the man of a million stories.  Polo influenced and inspired a great many to travel and discover new places.  One of whom was Christopher Columbus.  Columbus thoroughly studied Polo's books and felt compelled to discover the world himself.  Setting sail trying to find a quicker route to India...Christopher Columbus instead found North America.  Way-ta-go, Polo!   

How does Marco Polo compare and contrast to any person today?

I chose to compare Marco Polo to United States Astronaut, Neil Armstrong. Armstrong prior to his space travel, was in the US Air Force where he learnedaerial measurments, practiced airborn mathmatics, and learned how to keep calm while under fire or out of control at high speed! Also, Neil Armstrong earned the eagle scout badge as a 16 year old young man, according to that fact alone, it proves he was a born leader. They both travelled to places and overcame dangerous journies to discover new territories.  Polo created trade routes and also strengthened The Silk Road and Armstrong developed and proved possiblities of space travel.

In my opinion, space travel is more dangerous than the journies Marco Polo completed. Armstrong couldn't just "turn around mid-way through the blast-off and go back," it was all or nothing.  Polo's continued success in traveling to new and exotic places were by degrees and he didn't need to wait for a scientific "window" return...just maybe the weather.

In both Polo & Armstrong's endeavors, they were considered technologically advanced, in having the lates instruments to plot their course and execute their plans.

For me, Marco Polo inspires me to travel and discover.  He opened trade for continents and through his brave efforts and stories from those he met...he inspired those like Neil Armstrong.

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