For a 19th century European traveler, the world was still a challenge to be conquered: sailing on distant seas, exploring unknown lands, meeting new peoples and cultures, coming across new landscapes, animals and plants that did not exist in his homeland, living adventures and going back home with many stories to tell. Travelers faced several difficulties, starting with the vessels, small sailboats that took months to reach their destination (from France to Rio de Janeiro two months were needed). Some travelers ended up settling in intermediate ports and did not resume their journey.
For example, Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet’s circumnavigation trip aboard the “Uranie”, in which Aimé-Adrien Taunay participated, lasted almost three years and included a shipwreck in the Falklands Islands. Fortunately, the crew, the scientific equipment, the specimens and research were saved. Freycinet obtained a second ship, “La Physicienne”, to return to France (that went first to Rio de Janeiro, where the young Taunay landed). Although not one of the most remembered, from the scientific point of view of the period, this journey was a success.