Adventure

These Maps Show Us How Long Famous Journeys Would Take Today

You'll thank your stars for 21st century luxuries.

Back in the times of our big explorers, ‘travelling’ was called ‘going on a pilgrimage’, and a typical pilgrimage might’ve cost you a year of your life and a couple limbs thanks to scurvy. Sure, a long haul flight may feel pretty torturous at times, but it’s nothing compared to what people used to endure.

Don’t believe us? British travel company Travel Bag has put this truly into perspective by figuring out how long famous journeys would’ve taken if people set out on them today, instead of hundreds of years ago. It doesn’t take long to realise how damn lucky we are that we live in the 21st century.

For example, Marco Polo’s journey along The Silk Road famously took him four years in 1271. It would’ve looked like this:

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The Silk Road, 1271.

Now, we can do Polo’s journey in less than a day, at 23 hours and 19 minutes. Nice.

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The Silk Road, now.

Amelia Earhart’s flight across the Atlantic from Canada took her 15 hours of scary solo flying, but now it only takes eight.

Zheng He’s absolutely epic journey from China to Kenya in 1405 took an unbelievably long 28 years.

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China to Kenya, 1405.

But if you wanted to make the same pilgrimage today, it’s just a 17 hour flight. I know which one I’d choose.

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China to Kenya, now.

Even Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery to Australia in 1768 took him one year and eight months. These days? You’re looking at 26 hours and seven minutes with a stopover on the way.

Check out the rest of the voyages here and thank your lucky stars for snacks and in-flight entertainment.

Book your next (very quick) flight with Qantas.