While reading about Jean-Jacques Rousseau, today at the beach, I realized that in the 18th century ( and time before that ) learning was mostly possible with traveling. This was because, in one way, there were no information flows in today’s understanding. If you go out of your town, meet different people and cultures then the process of learning could begin.
By learning I do not mean things like making daily lives easier. I mean thinking about other people, developing ideas, attempting to solve problems of living together etc.
Of course there could be other examples and paths to knowledge even at that time. However, traveling, I believe, was something that you can not see where it could possibly lead you to. It frees you from your local, dogmatic thoughts and beliefs and only after that you may see the bigger picture in your life. People might be able to think in a comprehensive manner with traveling.
These paragraphs are from the book on Jean Jacques Rousseau.