Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

There are many things I have experienced in the course of my travelling. The first time I made it to the sea was when I was a teenager. During this period, I participated in various trading voyages across the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. For instance, I travelled to Khios Island, in present-day Greece, in the year 1474. This was the first time I came close to Asia. At Khios, I came across the Mastic tree. The locals used its resin to produce quality spices, and alcoholic drinks (Miller, 2019). My first trip as a grownup was made in the year 1476. I had the intention to move across the Atlantic Ocean. This journey almost cost me my life. French privateers attacked my fleet off the Portuguese coast. They burned my ship, and I was forced to swim to the shore (Miller, 2019). That is how I found myself at Lisbon, in Portugal. I settled there for some time. As from 1488, I made several small trips to Africa. These journeys enabled me to learn that the Atlantic currents flow east and west (Diversi, 2020). I also discovered that the currents originate from Canary Islands.

As from 1490, fables about the abundance of gold and spices in India and China became common in Europe. As a result, these Asian countries became the most attractive destinations of the time. However, the dominance of the Muslim traders in the Middle East made it difficult to travel eastwards (Diversi, 2020). As a result, it was necessary to devise a sea route. I sought the permission of the Spanish monarch to try the new route. In my first official voyage, I left the Spanish port of Palos de la Frontera in late August of1492. After about 36 days of sailing towards the west across Atlantic, I and my crew reached the Bahamas Island. I believed that it was part of India. As a result, I called the locals the Indians (Miller, 2019). We captured the island for Spain. The natives of Bahamas were timid. However, they were friendly since they were free to trade with us. They exchanged glass beads, spears, and parrots for various European goods, including horses.

From Bahamas, I continued with my journey until I reached the islands of Hispaniola (in modern-day Dominican Republic and Haiti) and Cuba. I mistook the former for Japan and the latter for China. At the coast f Hispaniola, one of my ships capsized and it was destroyed. Using the remains of the ship, I and my crew built a temporary settlement and called it Villa de la Navidad (or Christmas Town) (Diversi, 2020). I left 39 men behind to take care of the settlement. Since I was convinced that I had reached Asia, I went back to Spain in 1493.  However, I came to realize that this was not the case. As a result, I left Cadiz in September 1493 for my second voyage. When I arrived at the Navidad settlement, I realized that all the men we left behind had been massacred (Flint, 2019). This prompted me to establish a forced labor policy over the natives. These efforts only attracted the hatred of the locals. Before going back to Europe in 1496, I made further trips to Caribbean Islands. I strong believed that I had reached the outer Chinese islands.

In my third voyage, I left Sanlucar, in Spain, in May 1498. I managed to reach Venezuela through the exploration of Orinoco River. However, this trip was the most unsuccessful. The settlers I left at the settlement at Hispaniola reported back to Spain that I had exaggerated about the riches of the newly discovered land (Flint, 2019). As a result, I was arrested and taken back in 1500.  However, charges against me were dropped. After I convinced King Ferdinand to finance my fourth and last trip, I was allowed to go out in 1502. I travelled towards the eastern Cost of the modern Central America. Near the island of Cuba, one of my ships was wrecked by a storm and we were stranded. However, the locals refused to give us food (Diversi, 2020). Such hardships forced me to get back to Spain in 1504.


Diversi, M. (2020). A Letter to Columbus: The Contemporary Piracy of the Americas. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 21 (2): 153-162.

Flint, V. I. J. (2019). Travel Fact and Travel Fiction in the Voyages of Columbus. London: Routledge.

Miller, G. (2019). Discoveries of the New World and Beyond. Queen’s Quarterly, 126 (4). Retrieved from

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