Posts Tagged ‘Around the World in 80 Days’

          “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese 

The route of Phineas Fogg in Jule Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days."  -- Wikimedia illustration

The route of Phineas Fogg in Jule Verne’s “Around the World in 80  Days .”                                                                   — Wikimedia illustration


Around the World in Less than 80 Days

            In November of 1889, two women set out to beat Phineas Fogg’s record-setting trip in “Around the World in 80 Days.” Fogg and his journey were the 1873 fictional creation of Jules Verne. The journeys of Nellie Bly, who went east from New York, and Elizabeth Bisland, who went west from the same city, were true journalistic adventures.

001    I knew of Nellie Bly, who won the race in 72 days, four days ahead of Bisland. She was the first woman to fight for equality with men as a female reporter, a fight that was still going on three-quarters of a century later when I had my first byline in a daily newspaper.

I had never heard of Bisland, however, until I read the two women’s compelling, and well researched story in Matthew Goodman book, “Eighty Days.” Published in 2013, it was a great library find. In addition to the compelling story of the two women and their journeys, Goodman weaved in details of what the world was like in the late 1890s, as well as historical events that took place during this time period.

The book also had me turning pages to see what would happen next. Because of the way the book was written, which woman would win the race was a question mark until almost the end. I identified more strongly with Nellie, and so found myself rooting for her when she was behind. And when she did win, the entire country cheered. She was an instant celebrity, acclaimed by all.

But fame is fickle, and in the end, it was Bisland whom I came most to admire.

Goodman didn’t end his book with the race, but followed the two women’s lives and careers until their death.

Although it had been Nellie Bly who had convinced her World Newspaper editor to send her around the world, and it was Bisland’s Cosmopolitan editor who persuaded her to undertake the journey against her wishes, it was Elizabeth who enjoyed the journey simply for itself. She became the true traveler of the two women.

Nellie was simply glad to be back in America, which she defended as the best country in the world. Elizabeth, who admired the English and her Anglo-Saxon heritage, developed wanderlust after the journey was over.

While the two women went on to lead entirely different lives after their journalistic adventures, they both stayed writers to the very end.

            Bean Pat: Why Climb Mount Kilimanjaro http://tinyurl.com/jj386yt This could inspire you to get out there and do something different.

Read Full Post »

Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.” – Jules Verne

            “Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.” Nellie Bly’s motto.

This time last year I was traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, and thankfully wasn't trying to set any records. I took eight days to drive the  scenic parkway's 469 miles. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This time last year I was traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, and thankfully wasn’t trying to set any records. I took eight days to drive the scenic parkway’s 469 miles. — Photo by Pat Bean

Or 44 Hours and Six Minutes

Jules Verne believed, back in the early 1870s, that transportation had progressed to the point that a man could travel around the world in less than three months. His fictional character, Phileas Fogg, proved it – in the author’s classic novel, “Around the World in 80 Days,” which is one of my favorite travel books.

Nellie Bly as she began her record-setting 1889 around-the-world trip. -- Wikimedia photo

Nellie Bly as she began her record-setting 1889 around-the-world trip. — Wikimedia photo

In reality, in 1985, famed female reporter Nellie Bly, also known as Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, put Fogg’s record to the test – and beat it. Her around the world adventure was accomplished in 72 days and six hours. Nellie’s one of my favorite travelers.

But Bly didn’t hold the record for long, and over the years the days dwindled to just hours for a complete circumvention of the globe. The record, as a passenger on scheduled airline flights, for the around-the-world trip, was set in 1980 by David Springbett. With the help of the supersonic Concorde, he made the trip in 44 hours and six minutes. The record still stands.

While I would love to follow in Fogg’s or Bly’s footsteps, Springbett’s is a bit too fast for me. There would be no time to enjoy the journey.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this around the world thing, perhaps because I’m caught up in reading the adventures of three 28-year-old New York career women who took a year off to travel the world. The book is called “The Lost Girls,” and it’s by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner.

If you’re into travel books by adventurous women, I’m sure you will like this one.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Ordinary People http://tinyurl.com/mcuwn5s They don’t exist.

Read Full Post »