‚Äč Spices
The age of exploration started because of the spice trade. Asia and Europe traded spices back and forth through the Spice Islands, or what we now call indonesia

Spices were used for many things such as preserving food, adding flavor to dried and salted meats, and making medicines and perfumes. However, spices were very expensive and dangerous to get. So Europe began paying explorers to find a direct routes from india to the far east that made it easier and cheaper to get their goods.

This resulted in lots of new discoveries but first they had to get through many obsticles. Of course, back then our knowledge of the world wasn't as good as it is nowadays. also, according to the ancients only some of the world was inhabited by men. the biggest obsticle though was the oceans, especially because they were inhabited by dragons, sea monsters, and great holes where ships would simply disappear. Also, there was a problem with cannibals, wild natives, reefs and shoals, unmapped waters, and storms.