7 Thrilling Trips Around the World – Ever since Ferdinand Magellan proved the world was round by sailing around it, explorers and adventurers have been traipsing around the globe in all sorts of contraptions. They seek adventure and hunger for excitement. These explorers fill their bellies with adrenaline with every trip they make. Many of them are pioneers, breaking ground or breaking glass ceilings. They serve as inspiration for other adventurers or provide the flash of ingenuity needed to propel the next generation of travelers out into the universe.
Explore these 7 Thrilling Trips Around the World and see where they will take you.
1. Nellie Bly
Born Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, she began her career as a journalist when she wrote a letter to the Pittsburg Dispatch editor. Impressed by the writing, the editor hired Bly to write a column. That’s when she took the pen name, Nellie Bly. By 1889, she was writing for the New York World and was already recognized for her investigative reporting.
The 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne inspired Bly to beat Phileas Fogg’s 80 days. Bly departed on November 14, 1889, by ship from Hoboken, New Jersey. She would also travel by train, rickshaw, donkey, steamship, sampan, and horse throughout her journey. She posted her reports to her editor by telegraph, keeping the world apprised of her progress. On January 25, 1890, she arrived in New Jersey, concluding her journey in 72 days.
2. Great White Fleet
In a show of America’s naval power, President Theodore Roosevelt sent 16 new battleships and 14,000 sailors on a tour around the world. The ships’ white hulls with gold scrollwork on the bows secured the Great White Fleet’s nickname. They departed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, on December 16, 1917, and made 20 ports of call over the next 14 months. Their journey included stops in Trinidad, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Philippines, Japan, Egypt, Italy, Gibraltar, and several more.
3. Wiley Post
Our next port of call in 7 Thrilling Trips Around the World takes us to the sky. Once humans began conquering the seas, they began to take to the air. Wiley Post flew around the world not once but twice. On his first journey, he joined Australian navigator Harold Gatty to be the first to fly around the world in a single-engine monoplane. They departed from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, on June 23, 1931, in a Lockheed Vega named Winnie Mae. They completed the flight on July 1, 1931, in 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes.
Two years later, Post took up the challenge to fly solo around the world. He departed in his Winnie Mae on July 15, 1933, from Floyd Bennett Field in New York and beat his previous time, arriving in New York on July 22 – 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes later.
The daring aviator died in 1935 with humorist Will Rogers in a plane crash while flying across Alaska.
4. Valentina Tereshkova
In the midst of the space race, astronauts, cosmonauts, engineers, and scientists worldwide were making history. One particular cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, left her mark on history on June 16, 1963. Tereshkova’s parachute experience made her ideal for the Soviet Space program. She began her training at the Soviet Space Center at Star City with three other female cosmonauts in March of 1962.
The following year Tereshkova and Tatyana Torchillova began further training for a Vostok 6 mission. Tereshkova became the first woman in space when she was launched into orbit around the Earth in Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. She orbited the Earth 48 times in just 71 hours. Two days before her launch, cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky was sent into orbit aboard Vostok 5. During their dual missions circling the globe, they could communicate when their spacecraft came within a few miles of each other.
When Tereshkova re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, she ejected from the Vostok 6 at 20,000 feet and parachuted to the Earth, completing her mission.
5. Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock
While lots of men completed aviation firsts, how many can say they did it in heels? In 1953, Geraldine Mock did just that when she flew solo around the world in her Cessna 180 named the Spirit of Columbus. While Mock filed one flight plan, Joan Smith also intended to be the first woman to fly around the world. Smith took off following Amelia Earhart’s original route. On March 19, 1964, Mock started from Columbus, Ohio. Her trip took 29 days and 22,860 miles. The Flying Housewife, as she became known, completed the journey on April 17, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of Joan Smith.
Mock wrote a memoir of her adventure titled Three-Eight Charlie. In it, she goes into detail about her technical difficulties along the way. Mock also describes the variety of cultures she experienced.
6. Sir Robin Knox Johnston
In 1966, The Sunday Times newspaper published accounts of British yachtsman Francis Chichester’s solo sail around the world from England to Australia and back. He completed the voyage in record time despite his stop in Australia. Chichester’s journey fueled the hunger for adventure in other sailors, too. And in 1968, the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was announced. The only goal for the race was to be the first sailor to solo circumnavigate the globe non-stop. The prize? Bragging rights, of course, a trophy and £5,000. Nine men entered, but only one completed the challenge.
The 29-year-old Robin Knox Johnston departed from Falmouth, England, on June 14, 1968, in his yacht the Suhaili. His journey took 312 days and was completed on April 22, 1969. Queen Elizabeth knighted Johnston in 1995. In 2007, Sir Johnston once again circled the globe when he joined the Velux 5 Oceans around the world solo yacht race. At the age of 68, he became the oldest person to complete the journey, and let’s not forget, he’s also done it twice.
7. Steve Fossett
In 1929, the Graf Zeppelin completed the first around the world flight by a dirigible. The massive airship left an impression on the world in more ways than one.
Fast forward to June 19, 2002. Steve Fossett, pilot, sailor, world adventurer, had tried and failed five times to pilot a balloon solo around the world. In between those failed attempts, he was out setting sailing records. Fossett was not an idle man. Then in 2002, he launched the Bud Light Spirit of Freedom balloon from Northam, Australia. The 10-story balloon carried Fossett and his gear for 14 days. On July 3, 2002, he landed in Queensland, Australia, his journey a success.
Fossett turned his attention to setting records at an airplane pilot. In 2007, he and his plane disappeared over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A hiker discovered Fosset’s identification in 2008 leading to the recovery of his plane. However, very little of Fosset’s remains we’re found.