marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

over the hills and a long way off

Travel technology is going to affect a lot more than whether your heroes take three months or two hours to get to the capital.

Immigration, for instance.  When the trip to the new country takes months and has a fair chance of killing you, the people who do it are much more likely to have thrown themselves into the commitment, body and soul, than those who have a decent chance of returning, and whose immigration is at any rate safe.  When mass immigration from Ireland to the United States began, the Irish held "American wakes," where the honoree would attend while alive because he was as good as dead to them thereafter.  Italians, on the other hand, coming later, usually intended to return home, and a fair number of them did, returning to live like signores, buying up land and sending their children to school.

It's also going to affect trade.  Things that are hauled from great distances with great difficulty are going to be valuable and compact.  Importing food stuffs is only practical if enough can reach the country in edible force and cheaply enough to defeat the local produce.  And some forms of transport require geography to favor them, which is why so many cities are in ports, especially at river mouths.

Even locales you visit.  The switch from trains to automobiles meant the end of the massive hotels staged at touristy locations instead of handy little motels widely scattered about.
Tags: story time, travel, world-building: economics, world-building: geography, world-building: social bonds

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