Why Plus Ultra?
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
It was a stark warning to mariners and adventurers. Non plus ultra – nothing further beyond. In Greek mythology these words were inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules, marking off the western entrance to the Mediterranean and the edge of the known world.
In the 16th century, Plus Ultra was adopted as a personal motto by a young Charles V, future king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor. This exhortation to take risks, ignore the warning and go “further beyond” gained lasting popularity in a land that was then at the forefront of global exploration. Even today, some five centuries later, it remains the national motto.
For this blog I felt that such a title would be the perfect expression of its content, and ultimately a deeper message. Those two words capture the spirit of discovery, mirroring my own travel philosophy and providing a fitting tribute to Spain herself – the very country that inspired its creation.
Years ago I learned that great grandfather sailed from his native China to the distant shores of America in 1899. In a way, our family has never stopped travelling ever since. It was my parents and grandparents who nurtured a lifelong passion for travel, teaching me to see things with an open mind and sparking off a permanent case of wanderlust.
Travel changes us in ways that most things cannot. It challenges us to push our limits, re-examining our long-held thoughts and perceptions. We learn to shift our priorities, gaining a newfound appreciation for our planet, ourselves and the people we leave behind at home. Travel allows us to experience the richness of place, but most of all, it is about being touched and inspired by those we meet along the way.