Posts Tagged ‘jules verne’

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.

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This was the first travel book I read. Do you remember your first. -- Photo courtesy Wikipedia

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

Travels With Maggie

Osa Johnson wrote I Married Adventure the year after I was born. I think I was about 10 years old when I came across her book in the public library. It was the first travel book I ever read, and I was enthralled. From that moment on, I dreamed of having her kind of adventures.

It wasn’t until 2007 that I finally made it to Africa and went on a safari. Things had tremendously changed from Osa’s days, but at least I got to see wild lions and leopards and monkeys and elephants and all the other animals she wrote about in the book that captured my dreams. My great-grandchildren may not be so fortunate.

I’ve read hundreds of travel books since then. There’s always one by my bedside. Choosing just 10 to list here was difficult. I could easily have listed 10 different ones and been just as truthful. The ones I’ve chosen, however, have special meaning to me. I’ve just told you about the first. Here are the other nine – in no particular order.

Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. It was this book that was the role model for my present-day RV travels.

If your funny bone is like mine, this will tickle it.

On the Road

by Charles Kuralt. I was an upbeat journalist with a desire to travel. How could this book not be on my list?

Road Fever by Tim Cahill. I’ve read just about everything this crazy Montanan has written. I get his sense of humor.

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. An author with a strong sense of conservation and the value of both the landscape and wildlife.

Dessert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. An irreverent writer who writes about the landscapes I’ve trod and who loves them as much as I do.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. One person’s account of an Everest expedition in which lives were lost, one of whom I had met and interviewed. His is not the only version of events but his writing can’t be faulted. I couldn’t stop reading.

Out of Africa by Isek Dineson. Once again my adventurous spirit is touched. I visited the home, now a museum, of Karen Blixen (alias Dineson) when I was in Africa.

John Steinbeck and Charley. Maggie and I are their counterparts but we don't follow in their wheel tracks. -- Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 Around the World in 80 Days

by Jules Verne. Does a fictional book count as   a travel book? I vote that this one does.

Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck. When I first began planning my RV travels, I reread this book after a friend said Maggie and I were the female version of Steinbeck and Charley. I even toyed with the idea of retracing this great writer’s journey, but then wisely decided I needed to find my on path on the road.

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