As the Women’s Adventure Expo team maps out a banner event to honour female explorers next June, Rosemary Brown pays tribute to world traveller Nellie Bly on the 128th anniversary of the day she voyaged out of America… and into history.
Exactly 128 years ago on November 14, 1889, crusading journalist Nellie Bly left New York Harbour to start what would become the fastest-ever journey around the globe.
She raced through a ‘man’s world’ — alone and literally with the clothes on her back — to beat the fictional record set by Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days. Seventy-two days later, she won the race and became a global celebrity.
125 years later, I set out to follow in her footsteps. We both travelled alone with one small bag. She went by ocean liner and train. I flew. She raced, I didn’t. She covered 28,000 miles in 72 days; I completed 22,500 miles in 32 days. She journeyed through the Victorian age, breaking conventions along the way. I travelled through the Information age, blogging along the way.
My goal was to put Nellie Bly ‘back on the map. ‘Like many female adventurers from the past, she had been lost in time. Even today, recognition eludes many of our contemporary women explorers. That’s why I am over the moon about Women’s Adventure Expo’s forthcoming heritage event to discover and celebrate women explorers and adventurers like Nellie Bly.
Nellie Bly Rosemary Brown
Save the date: The Heritage of Women in Exploration
A Women’s Adventure Expo Special Event in the Centenary Year of Women’s Suffrage, Thursday 21 June 2018 At The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Kensington Gore, London
Watch this space.