80 Days

Today is the anniversary of Phileas Fogg completing his trip  in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 days. He left on October 2 and got back to London on December 21.  I haven’t read much of Verne, but I thought this  plot was fascinating and fun when I read it years ago

What route would you take to go around the world if you mainly took trains and boats and cars?  What would you want to see? 

37 thoughts on “80 Days”

  1. i think i’d zig zag a bit and take years with sponsorship to allow my travels to go with mild comforts included
    heading west to the rockies is first on the list then running from pheonix to jasper through 4 corners zion yellowstone glacier banff and jasper then to vancouver and down hwy 1 to la via washington oregon northern ca and big sur to jump on a ship in baja to hawaii and the pacific islands tim in taiwan china backroading through mongolia and siberia (summer please) then to macedonia egypt albania and kosovo before turkey greece and across the mediterranean to africa i vw always wanted to learn about africa and it’s quiet cultural gems as well as the horrible unrest of a continent in a flux without the means to plug into the modern world. then up to portugal spain italy france austria germany norway sweden denmark and finland doubling back to the uk with extended rest in wales and ireland in to iceland greenland and into nova scotia across the rocky coast of canada all the way down the east coast to florida then back up through appalachia’s wonders to montreal a loop around the great lakes and back to minnesota via the north shore of minnesota, it’s gotta be at least a 5 year trip

    there’s a guy who owned the rake magazine here in minneapolis 10 or 15 years ago who gave the newspaper to his kid and started a travel blog called travels after 50 (or similar) and updates his travels from cool places in what appears to be an ongoing wandering that i’d love to try
    thanks renee
    i love mental travel
    i’m feeling stimulated and cranked up a notch and a half after envisioning geography and culture to embrace

    Liked by 1 person

  2. we read around the world in 80 days in bbc s few years ago and i found it juvenile reading

    the average reader has morphed from a person capable of digesting words to a vessel for storylines and winding interesting threads vs clunky meat and potatoes plots of jules vernes writing

    we’ve grown exponentially and around the world in 80 days, 20 ,000 leagues uber the sea, the time machine are books that have a base idea and a story to make it happen that’s a vehicle to get to the finish line not a word smithed story of beauty and crafted intertwining plots and interesting intriguing pages
    pfinneas fogg ain’t it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. George Francis Train was a fascinating and eccentric person who, in 1870, in the middle of his campaign for President of the US, decided to circumnavigate the world. He did it in 80 days of traveling. His exploits were widely reported in the international press. It was Train’s belief that Verne was inspired by his adventures and based the character of Fogg partially on him.
    After Nelly Bly traveled around the world in 72 days in 1890, Train was motivated to make a second circumnavigation, which he accomplished in 67 days. He did it again in 1892, arriving back at his starting point after only 60 days.
    Train was a principal in a great many ventures including the finance and development of the eastern half of the transcontinental railroad.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I think he would be. He was kind of a wild guy- threw himself into many controversies, got arrested several times on rather trumped-up charges by authorities he annoyed, made and lost several fortunes.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I think if I plotted such a course I would probably not stick to it. I’d be distracted and wander off. At some point I would become too homesick to go on, so I would turn around and go home.

    I would be nice to visit all the Great Lakes. So far I’ve only seen two.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I lived near Lake Huron for two years. My daughter’s family’s home wast so close they heard the sound of waves rolling in on the beach as they slept. Huron is a lovely lake. But I’m spoiled. Our cabin overlooked a lake whose water was pure enough you could drink it. Superior will always be my favorite.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. you seen one great lake you’ve seen the all. they all look alike to me.
      it reminds me of the time we were in china and i told the guy i was with all us white guys look the same to them . round eyes. he got a big kick out of it. he said it never dawned on him they hard a hard time keeping us apart.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Two weeks is about as long as travel is enjoyable for me. After that, the novelty of new places has worn off and the attraction of returning to friends and family and familiar routine takes its place. I’m too rooted to ever be attracted to extended and serial travel.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. When I was young I loved the novelty of seeing new places. Now I care less about seeing things, preferring to share the lives of new people. My 80 days would be all about living with different families and learning new ways of living, working with people to understand their lives.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I would want to make sure I could listen to the music of where I visited while I travelled, especially classical compositions written by composers from the countries. It would be fun to hear the music that Bartok and Kodaly and other Hungarian composers wrote while I travelled through the villages and regions that inspired the pieces.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After first visiting Norway and hearing the cadence and rhythms of the spoken word there, then traveling to Korea and and hearing the same, it struck me that in at least those two countries those cadences and lilts are reflected in their folk music. Russian also seems to follow that pattern. I would love to spend a year traveling and listening for that other places. (I think it helped that I knew little of either language so could just listen to the “music” of people speaking without fretting about what they were saying.)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. We traveled to UK in 1974, briefly nipping into Wales. The Welsh were astonished that anyone would choose to be in their country, and there was no tourism infrastructure to amuse visitors. One night we walked the dark streets of Brecon. Local folks had gathered in a church to sing religious songs, creating incredible harmonies. We thought their singing was the most amazing thing we had ever heard. But it was their music, and we didn’t feel entitled to open the door to join them. After lingering in front of the church like eavesdroppers, we just slipped away.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Like Steve, I couldn’t circumnavigate the globe in 80 days because I would get caught up in learning about the culture and the people. I would want to stay places longer that a day or two. Since this is an imaginary trip, I can spend a few days in a yurt in Mongolia, travel the Trans-Siberian railroad, take up residence in St. Petersburg for a bit, wander through Finland (with a stop to see the Moomin museum), meander through Central Europe, find my way to the Danube and cruise that, eventually get to Italy. I don’t think my heat-averse self would last long in the Mediterranean, but I would like to visit the various spots considered the roots of our Western culture: ancient Greek and Roman sites, the Pyramids in Egypt, Jerusalem… I can pretend that the Middle East isn’t a mess and visit sites there as well in Iraq and Iran, Syria… a few days in Paris to enjoy the food. Then home. Will need a break before I embark on the trip through South America on my way to whatever port I need to get to for the cruise that will take me to Antarctica to see the penguins. Because penguins.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Rise and Roam About, Baboons,

    Like several people have mentioned about themselves, I would be hampered in this by distractibility, interest, and homesickness. Trains can be fun, but I have no desire to be stuck on a boat as I cross the Pacific. My late FIL told me about his assignment in WWII on a supply ship in the N. Pacific. Hours of boredom, regular food (which he did not have in childhood) and a lot of security, also missing in his childhood. He loved it. I had an attack of claustrophobia. So no travel without airlines for me.

    I do have the travel bug again, though. I want to go back to Scotland and Ireland, and we are eyeing some time next summer. But of course we have to squeeze in travel around the garden rhythms.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is likely we will. On my last trip there in 2017 I discovered that the Newell (maternal ancestors) family home, in County Down, still stands. I was with a group and in unknown territory at that time, so I could not find my way there. Now I know where it is and can figure out how to get there. I would like to experience this.

        My friend there, a Catholic priest and fellow artist, is distraught about
        Brexit. His life’s work and that of his Catholic order of priests, the Passionists, have made their purpose to heal the traumas of The Irish Troubles. It is such a story. With Brexit, they are afraid the Troubles will return. There is an effort to re-unify Ireland as a result.

        He is a wonderful host, and has such a unique perspective on Ireland, that we do want to return to the area.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Visiting a place as the guest of someone with deep roots to the place is such a privilege. I’m afraid your friend’s fears about the Troubles flaring up again are well founded. Being a Catholic priest in Northern Ireland, can’t be no picnic, either. Do you visit the Republic as well, Jacque?


        2. When we were there in 2017 he had rented a large van and he did all the driving. We went back and forth across the border of the Republic and N. Ireland almost without noticing. It seemed similar to crossing from MN to Wisconsin. We flew in to Dublin, stayed in N. Ireland, and toured the north and east parts of the Green Isle without any consideration of the border. That feeling of freedom is what the Irish want to preserve.

          When we return we will not stay with John, but we will be in touch.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I forgot to say he grew up in Londonderry (he referred to it as Derry) which is near the NW part of the border and went back and forth there several times.


  10. Like others on the trail, open ended, meandering travel isn’t my preferred way of traveling, at least not for extended periods of time. And even when I go and stay put in one place, I begin to worry about Martha and Bernie after about ten days. Two weeks is about my limit as a visitor.

    I much prefer to go someplace with the intention of staying for an extended period, settling in, getting to know the lay of the land and the people who live there. For me the joy of visiting someplace isn’t just a matter of seeing the sights, although in some places that’s obviously part of it. It’s much more a matter of connecting with the locals, and getting the pulse of what their daily lives are like. Eating their foods, listening to their music, and partaking in their cultural rituals are all part of that, and that requires dedicating a good chunk of time to it.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Husband and I leave Sunday eve on a rail journey to near-Seattle (Port Townsend), be gone for a total of a week. The logisitcs are easy because we’ll be picked up by our friends and then ferried across the Sound to their little artist colony. At this stage of my life I have no desire to do a longer trip than this, the I probably will when wee need to, to see, say, a new baby due in the new year.

    If I were to do a trip around the entire world, it would require something like the Polar Express, or Beaming a la Star Trek.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo! I’ve been to Port Townsend!
      I have such limited travel stories compared to all of you. But we flew to Seattle for our Honeymoon, the drove over to Port Townsend and took the ferry to the San Juan Islands. A nice trip.

      And I’ve never been gone longer than that 2 weeks.
      We do hope to make our first overseas visit next year with a niece and her husband being our guides. We’ll be talking about it over Christmas.
      I mean I have a passport, it’s just gathering dust!

      Liked by 3 people

  12. OT – As some of you may have read, the poet Louis Jenkins passed away yesterday. I loved his gentle, unassuming and whimsical voice; I’ll miss him. Here’s a poem of his that I think will make several baboons, who have embarked on finding their ancestral roots, smile:

    My Ancestral Home

    by Louis Jenkins

    We came to a beautiful little farm. From photos
    I’d seen I knew this was the place. The house
    and barn were painted in the traditional Falu
    red, trimmed with white. It was nearly mid-
    summer, the trees and grass, lush green, when
    we arrived the family was gathered at a table
    on the lawn for coffee and fresh strawberries.
    Introductions were made all around, Grandpa
    Sven, Lars-Olaf and Marie, Eric and Gudren,
    Cousin Inge and her two children… It made me
    think of a Carl Larsson painting. But, of course,
    it was all modern, the Swedes are very up-to-
    date, Lars-Olaf was an engineer for Volvo, and
    they all spoke perfect English, except for
    Grandpa, and there was a great deal of laughter
    over my attempts at Swedish. We stayed for a
    long time laughing and talking. It was late in
    the day, but the sun was still high. I felt a won-
    derful kinship. It seemed to me that I had
    known these people all my life, they even
    looked like family back in the States. But as it
    turned out, we had come to the wrong farm.
    Lars-Olaf said, “I think I know your people, they
    live about three miles from here. If you like I
    could give them a call.” I said that no, it wasn’t
    necessary, this was close enough.

    “My Ancestral Home” by Louis Jenkins from European Shoes. © Will O’ the Wisp Books, 2008.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. On our New York trip we took a harbor tour and sailed around Ellis Island. I have seen in the online archives the names of many of my relatives listed as passing through there in the early 1900’s. Sailing past it a couple of weeks ago I thought about them and what it must have felt like to travel across the Atlantic and disembark there and get processed. It doesn’t seem like a really welcoming place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was thinking the same thing. They were permitted in without a lot of fuss. I don’t think my grandfather needed a work visa or any kind of documents when he arrived with his wife and three kids in 1908. Immigrants then were met with a certain level of hostility by some, but it pales in comparison to what immigrants face today.

      Liked by 1 person

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