He did so with some reluctance, with little protection from bad weather, and with some degree of danger.
Whenever he travelled, Augustine made a point of stopping at various towns and hamlets in the far reaches of the diocese of Hippo.
The journeys were long, hot and uncomfortable. Carts with springs were long in the future.
He also detested sailing, perhaps suffering from seasickness.
As well as his obligations to the local Church at Hippo, Augustine accepted that he also had a commitment to the broader Church.
When he was called to make a journey for this purpose, he explained to his people, "I beg you in the name of Christ not to let yourselves by cast down by my bodily absence... Your charity knows that I have never absented myself from your midst because of any selfish whim, but only because of the call of duty. That call has often obliged other of my holy brother bishops to face hardship on the sea and overseas. I have always had to abstain from such journeys not because of any evil disposition of my soul; but because of my ill health." (Letter 122, 1)
His only journey beyond Africa happened when he was almost 30 years old in the autumn of 383 AD.
Augustine took a ship across the Mediterranean Sea from Carthage to Rome, and was away from North Africa for the next five years.
This was his only journey outside of North Africa. He lived successively at Rome, Milan, Cassiciacum, Ostia, and at Rome once again between the years 383 and 388, while he advanced in age from 32 years to 37 years.
In 388 he returned to North Africa to the town of his early education, Thagaste.
He stayed there for just over two years, until the celebrated occasion when he visited a friend in Hippo and was prevailed upon by the local people to accept priesthood.
(Continued on the next page.)