Many explorers were wanting to find a better route to trade and gain Indian spices. Traveling by land was difficult due to thieves attacking traders following the Silk Road. So, explorers decided to travel by sea to find an alternate route. Vasco de Gama from Portugal began trading by using a sea route. As a result, Portuguese had a strong influence on Southern Asia.
De Gama realized that he could not sail using the Mediterranean Sea due to danger as well. De Gama actually became an official in India. Vasco de Gama took several trips to India with some of them being successful and others not so much. However, de Gama is credited with opening the route to Southern Asia.