According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, there are an estimated 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals every year. And with budget airlines, Internet booking sites, Trip Advisor and Google maps, travelling couldn’t be easier.
It was a very different story back in 1873, when Jules Verne wrote his novel Around the World in Eighty Days. He tells the story of Phileas Fogg, an extremely rich man who accepts the challenge to travel around the world in just 80 days, for £20,000 (more than 2million pounds today!) He sets off with his valet, Passepartout, on 2nd October and must return on 2nd December at exactly the same time to win the money. Their journey, by train, boat and elephant, is a race against the clock and takes them to Italy, Egypt, India, China, Japan and America before finally arriving back in London on time.
The first recorded navigation of the globe was led by Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, who left from Spain in 1519 and returned three years later. The first aerial circumnavigation by 4 American pilots in 1924, took 175 days. Now, travel is much faster; a Boeing 787 travels more than 1,000 km/h and, next year Boom Supersonic is preparing to launch its jet Overture which will reach speeds of 2,335 km/h.
Travelling nowadays is obviously a lot faster… but does that make it more enjoyable?