No the world isn’t literally shrinking,but for humans, it kinda is. Up until 500 years ago, nobody had even ever circumnavigatedthe globe, but nowadays, anybody can do this in a couple days just by paying a couple thousanddollars. Therefore, in the perspective of today’s humans, the world is much smallerthan it used to be. In the time that it took for the first circumnavigationof the world, today’s humans could fly to Mars and back twice.
Think about this, totoday’s human, the moon seems significantly closer than America seemed to Europeans inthe 16th century when the first voyages departed. It only takes humans 3 days to go the moon,verses over two month’s for the colonists to go to America. Up until 1693, nobody had ever been able tocircumnavigate the globe as a “tourist”, as in paying for their own transit on publictransport. Gemelli Careri was the first person to do this feat, and it took him 5 years. David Springbett has the current record forthis accomplishment with his journey from Los Angeles, to London, to Bahrein, to Singapore,to Bangkok, to Manila, to Tokyo, to Honolulu, then back to Los Angeles in 44 hours and sixminutes.
In 1800, you couldn’t even get from NewYork to DC in those 44 hours. Between the years of 1857 and 1930, the time it took tocross the United States went from about three or four weeks to one day. Not only has the time of travel plummeted,the accessibility has too. 46% of American’s will travel outside of the US in their lifetime.Adjusted for inflation, the average cost of domestic air travel in the US has droppedby more than 50% in just the last 30 years. 50 years ago, only 20% of Americans had everflown in an airplane, but today, only 20% haven’t. In some ways this may be saddening. Thereis less to explore. There are pretty much no places left on earth that are inaccessibleto the average human being.
One can travel to every continent, every ocean, every countrywith relative ease. However, this does mean that practically anyone with the thirst foradventure can visit every continent, ocean, or country. In the coming years, we will have even moreto explore, as we look up to the stars, and leave earth. We can already buy our ticketsto go to outer space, and although it might not feasible for the everyday human to buytheir ticket now, just look how fast the price of air travel plummeted. By the end of ourlifetimes, going to the moon might just be as easy as flying to Europe.