The Difference Between Travelling Vs Driving
Traveling or travelling has two meanings, both of which have strong roots in English. Traveling refers to the journey, while the destination is typically the location that one ends up at. The second meaning refers to the modes of transportation used. This American-British spell difference carries over to other forms: traveller or traveler and touring or traveling.
In the middle ages in Europe, people would often go on journeys to faraway places. This started off as a simple means of travel. With the wealth of the new land came new ways of transporting people and their goods. As the roads grew and became safer, more people started to travel long distances by horseback or on foot. This eventually developed into a system of trading routes, through which goods could be brought and exchanged.
Travelling by ship was an option also, though it was not undertaken as frequently as the early days. Ships often carried supplies and food for those who wished to make the journey across the ocean. This spelling is actually a misnomer, however, as nowadays there are cruise liners and cruise ships all over the world. Today, travelling by ship is still possible, though there are airfares and schedules for those preferring to do so. When it comes to traveling by road, however, the American and British spellings remain the norm, even though the accents of many countries have slightly changed.
The word travel itself is from the Latin root “tota”, which means to go. So when we talk about travelling, we are referring to the general idea of going from one place to another. Over time, this word came to include many different types of journeys. The most famous form of this journey in Europe was that of the Roman Empire, during which people would often move from one military frontier to another, conquering new lands and establishing colonies. Colonizing would often lead to war, and so the word travel came to include the idea of moving from one region to another in order to battle for control of these new territories.
As for the United States, the most common route of travel between destinations was along the trail of settlers. There were settlements here dating back to the beginning of the country, and this spelling is also used to refer to today’s West Coast states, such as Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. However, the most popular type of European-American journey was the transcontinental railroad, which covered quite a lot of land, including what is now the states of Texas and California. When discussing travelling by railroad, it is important to note that the transcontinental railroad was one of the greatest feats of man during his time, and was built using the same materials that had been used for the original construction of the Grand Canyon. This, of course, required a different spelling of the word.
The differences between travelling and traveling vs. driving stem from very real differences in terms of safety and security. Travelling on the road means that there are more cars, trucks, and wildlife on the roads, to travel on the rail (as the British traveled) meant that a map of the world was available in your pocket while you were travelling, making maps of the British countryside unnecessary. Also, whereas automobiles tend to be a breeding ground for terrible things such as road rage, the railways avoided this by placing a sign in advance that trucks and other vehicles were forbidden on the railway tracks. No matter how you look at it, though, the similarities between travelling and driving are pretty clear, and have remained a constant throughout history.