I am planning to make another youtube video, in which I discuss a handful of real life adventurers from many different times and places, and some of their exploits. I am still doing research, but already have a list of at least a few people I am considering including.
Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 to 1890): His greatest achievements include a well-document journey to Mecca
in disguise at a time when non-Muslims were forbidden from doing so and could be killed if caught, translating the entirety of "One Thousand and One Nights" into English, and being the first European to visit Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika in search of the source of the river Nile.
James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak (1803 to 1868): Born to British parents in Northeastern India, he would buy a ship after resigning his commission in the Bengal Army, then sail to the Malay Archipelago, where he suppressed
the rampant piracy in the region and restored the Sultan of Brunei
to his throne in the ensuing turmoil. The Sultan of Brunei
rewarded him by appointing him Rajah of Sarawak. He and his descendants would rule the region until WW2. He has been cited as among Rudyard Kipling's inspirations when writing "The Man Who Would Be King".
Ibn Battuta (1304 to 1368 or 1369): A 14th century Moorish traveler and scholar who is considered one of the greatest travelers of all time, and the Islamic World's answer to Marco Polo. He traveled to and wrote extensively about North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa
, the Middle East, India, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and China within his lifetime.
Thomas Blood (1618 to 1680): Best known for an unsuccessful attempt to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671, he was pardoned for all of his crimes by King Charles II for reasons that remain unknown to this day, and found favor in his court. Thomas Blood was also the inspiration for Captain Peter Blood, who was portrayed by Errol Flynn in the 1935 swashbuckler film "Captain Blood".
Alexander Selkirk (1676 to 1721): A Scottish privateer who was marooned by his captain on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific, where he survived for more than four years before eventually being rescued by Woodes Rogers (an English privateer and later Governor of the Bahamas, where he is often credited as more or less single-handedly ending the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean). Alexander Selkirk is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe
Frederick Russell Burnham (1861 to 1947): Born on a Sioux Indian reservation in Minnesota and learned their ways growing up. Lived and worked among cowboys and frontiersmen in the American Southwest, then in 1893 decided that North America was getting too "civilized" for him and moved to South Africa, where he fought for the British in the Second Matabele War and the Second Boer War, and achieved the rank of Major. He became friends with Lord Robert S.S. Baden-Powell (who later founded the Boy Scouts in the United Kingdom), and taught him outdoor and survival skills as well as introducing him to the mythos of the Old West.
Sidney Reilly (circa 1873 to circa 1925): Spied for several different countries in Russia and the Far East during the early 20th century. Perhaps his most interesting caper was an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (better known as Lenin) and depose the Bolshevik regime in Russia. Much of what we think we know about him comes from the British diplomat and journalist Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart, who later befriended Ian Fleming. Ian Fleming cited Sidney Reilly as among his inspirations in creating the character of "James Bond".
Hiram Bingham III (1875 to 1956): An American academic, explorer, and Senator for the state of Connecticut. Led the expedition that rediscovered Machu Picchu
in Peru with the help of some indigenous farmers, and publicized its existence in 1911. Has been cited as one of several possible inspirations for the character of "Indiana Jones".
René Caillié (1799 to 1838): A French explorer who traveled alone in disguise as a Muslim to Timbuktu
, and was the first European to do so and return alive in hundreds of years.