Wonder Women: Nellie Bly

Before Eat, Pray, Love inspired far-flung journeys of self-discovery, there was the book, Around the World in Eighty Days. Journalist, Nellie Bly, took this fictional work as a challenge and set off sail in November of 1889 from New Jersey to parts of Europe, Asia and back. 

Her voyage had set a world record by completing the 25,000 mile trip in only just 72 days. In her book chronicling her travels, she calls out her naysayers for discouraging her.

"It is impossible for you to do it. In the first place you are a woman and would need a protector, and even if it were possible for you to travel alone you would need to carry so much baggage that it would detain you in making rapid changes. Besides you speak nothing but English, so there is no use talking about it; no one but a man can do this."

"'Very well,' I said angrily, 'Start the man, and I'll start the same day for some other newspaper and beat him.'"

And so she did.

Taking just one dress, £200, some toiletries, and several pairs of fresh undies (because everyone needs new knickers), Bly met with the original novelist in France, bought a monkey in Singapore, took a train across America and came out ahead of a competing magazine's female reporter on the same global race. 

One woman with a will and a way - that's worthy of the front page.