How many authors get to see their fiction become reality like that.
Here's the link to the book - http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bly/world/world.html
And here's the dialogue they had: """
"Has M. Verne ever been to America?" I asked.
"Yes, once;" the answer came translated to me. "For a few days only, during which time I saw Niagara. I have always longed to return, but the state of my health prevents my taking any long journeys. I try to keep a knowledge of everything that is going on in America and greatly appreciate the hundreds of letters I receive yearly from Americans who read my books. There is one man in California who has been writing to me for years. He writes all the news about his family and home and country as if I were a friend and yet we have never met. He has urged me to come to America as his guest. I know of nothing that I long to do more than to see your land from New York to San Francisco."
"How did you get the idea for your novel, 'Around the World in Eighty Days?'" I asked.
"I got it from a newspaper," was his reply. "I took up a copy of Le Siécle one morning, and found in it a discussion and some calculations showing that the journey around the world might be done in eighty days. The idea pleased me, and while thinking it over it struck me that in their calculations they had not called into account the difference in the meridians and I thought what a denouement such a thing would make in a novel, so I went to work to write one. Had it not been for the denouement I don't think that I should ever have written the book."
"I used to keep a yacht, and then I traveled all over the world studying localities; then I wrote from actual observation. Now, since my health confines me to my home, I am forced to read up descriptions and geographies."
M. Verne asked me what my line of travel was to be, and I was very happy to speak one thing that he could understand, so I told him.
"My line of travel is from New York to London, then Calais, Brindisi, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, Aden, Colombo, Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong, Yokohama, San Francisco, New York."
"Why do you not go to Bombay as my hero Phileas Fogg did?" M. Verne asked.
"Because I am more anxious to save time than a young widow," I answered.
"You may save a young widower before you return," M. Verne said with a smile.
I smiled with a superior knowledge, as women, fancy free, always will at such insinuations.
I looked at the watch on my wrist and saw that my time was getting short. There was only one train that I could take from here to Calais, and if I missed it I might just as well return to New York by the way I came, for the loss of that train meant one week's delay.
"If M. Verne would not consider it impertinent I should like to see his study before I go," I said at last.
They clinked their glasses with wine, and wished me "God speed."
"If you do it in seventy-nine days, I shall applaud with both hands," Jules Verne said, and then I knew he doubted the possibility of my doing it in seventy-five, as I had promised. In compliment to me, he endeavored to speak to me in English, and did succeed in saying, as his glass tipped mine:
"Good luck, Nellie Bly."
What I find interesting is that while J Verne's 80 days was inspired by the calculations of a news article, she was able to accomplish it in 72 and as the years went on the duration was whittled successively shorter attesting to the rapid progress and investment the world was making in transport.
Physically it would be doable with a private jet and some helicopter transfers for the awkward cases. Microstates without airports (San Marino) and tiny islands (Sao Tome etc) might take up a lot of time.
(The Verne trip was a "mere" circumnavigation, immigration was a lot easier back then, and quite a lot of it was British Empire)
Do you count transit or must immigration be passed? If you think about this question, isn't it worth more to have a chat online with people from every country?