Europeans were interested in finding a new route to Asia. The Europeans had a great deal of interest in trading with countries in Asia. There were many products that the Asians had that were in demand in Europe, especially spices. However, traveling the land routes to Asia proved to be very risky as traders had to travel through lands that were often disputed.
Vasco da Gama tried to find a new route to Asia by traveling by water south from Portugal around Africa to try to reach Asia. In 1498, he succeeded as he reached India. Christopher Columbus also wanted to find a new route to Asia. While he never did find a new route to Asia, he did travel to the Americas, which led to many other voyages to the Americas by the Europeans. The Europeans eventually set up colonies in the Americas.