In medieval Europe people went exploring for many different reasons, in this essay I will tell you the main reasons why people went exploring and the reason that I think is the most important.
Religion: Prince Henry went exploring to spread the word about his religion. Most of the people who went to spread the word were Christian. Columbus, who landed in South America, erected churches and forced the natives to convert to Christianity. Hernan Cortés, a Spanish Conquistador, set off to conquer Mexico. When Hernan landed in Mexico he noticed that the Aztec priests made around 5 human sacrifices a day! Hernan wanted the priests to convert to Christianity so he told them that they should wash and clean there hair and turn there temples into Christian churches.
Trade: When people went to different lands e.g. India, traders took the treasures and brought them to other places e.g. England to sell at a high price. People who traded as a living found trade routes, a sea or land route in which you find a place to buy/find and then find a place to sell and then return home, these trade routes were made as short as possible to prevent pirates and sickness on the ship. Goods like diamonds, salt, gems, herbs and cloth were brought back to the highest bidder/bidding country. Old puritan goods went out and the new fancy, foreign goods came in!
Exploration: Some people went on ships at sea as a way to earn money; poor people would often go on ships in the hope of finding treasure to save them from the grasps of poverty. Some people went exploring for the sheer thrill of life finding new places that no-one had been to before. Many of the great explorers left from Britain and Spain/Portugal. By 1600 most of the earths geography had been discovered, only the extreme north and south parts of the world remained!! As time grew on the quality of maps greatly increased, as more lands were discovered more bits were added to the map!