On Change

I believe the chance to travel without the security of a job is one of the great privileges one can have. There are plenty of resources out there that can teach you how to save and budget for the proper amount of financial support one might need. This post is not about how, but rather why I'm choosing to leave my home and all the safeties a job can offer for a chance to learn something different. 

The world is changing faster than we can comprehend and while our daily tools or luxuries might seem required to function, they are are all still very new to the world.

For example, the first GPS satellite was released in 1978 making the technology only 40 years old. Before GPS, the world faced disasters at sea due to the challenge of determining the longitude of a ship's position. This problem dates back to Eratosthenes, a Greek scholar who was the first recorded person to invent Geography and propose the idea of having a grid system to navigate the world in/around 255 BC. 

The world reached a breaking point in 1714 with there being too many deaths at sea. The Longitude Act was created by an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom in July of 1714. Parliament was asking the world to come together and solve for Longitude for a financial reward and to benefit humanity. 

John Harrison then invented a marine chronometer, which simply put, is a compact watch that can keep time accurately at sea.

The theory was if you know what time it is in Greenwich, no matter where you are in the world, you can then calculate your Longitude. Now you know why Greenwich Mean Time is used so frequently as reference points with the world keeping time and navigation. 

As Wikipedia puts it: 
"Time equals longitude. Since the Earth rotates at a steady rate of 360° per day, or 15° per hour (in mean solar time), there is a direct relationship between time and longitude. If the navigator knew the time at a fixed reference point when some event occurred at the ship's location, the difference between the reference time and the apparent local time would give the ship's position relative to the fixed location. Finding apparent local time is relatively easy. The problem, ultimately, was how to determine the time at a distant reference point while on a ship." 

John Harrison dedicated his life to solving this problem and received partial recognition by Parliment throughout his contributions and when he was 80 years old in 1773 earned as much credit as he could for solving Longitude at sea. No one was ever awarded full credit for solving the problem. 

It took the world close to 2,000 years to get to the point where navigation is a thoughtless task that is handled by mobile devices connected to computers/satellites. I find this accomplishment genuinely incredible and remind myself every time I use Google Maps how far the world has developed itself. 

Part of the reason I'm choosing to leave my job/home is for a chance to become connected to this history. By learning how to navigate through a sextant/marine chronometer when crossing the Atlantic or becoming more intuned with the weather patterns while living in Patagonia, Argentina. All of these skills I believe allow one to hopefully become more observant to the world and understand all it has to offer without the reliance on modern technology. 

I'm driven by gaining this understanding.  Hopefully, when I'm older one day and reading of the brave navigators to round Cape Horn or venture towards California, I will have felt what they did just for a moment in my time. To become connected to the long history of the world in my short experiences.