How I Would Travel Around the World in Eighty Days

By Betty Boyd

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In June of 2016, Solar Impulse 2 just finished an epic flight around the world. The trip took over 16 months to complete and made aviation history. I want to mimic what was done in the movie “Around the World in Eighty Days” but with a solar powered airplane, rather than a balloon.

What wonders would I see in the air, the glistening water, billowing clouds, land masses with different shapes galore, using this type of airplane. I would start my trip from Huntsville International Airport in Alabama, cruising at an altitude 23,000 feet above the Earth. I want to head up the East coast and visit New York City, landing at LaGuardia International Airport. I would take in a Broadway show, visit the shops on Fifth Avenue, and other famous sights and sounds that are the Big Apple.

I then would cross the North Atlantic Ocean and land at London’s Heathrow Airport. I can’t wait to see Big Ben and hear it sound off on the hour. I’d drive over the Tower of London, boat on the River Thames, see a Shakespearean play at the Globe Theatre, and finish up at Trafalgar Square.

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My next stop is a mere 1130 miles (a lot less than the over 3400 miles to London). I would land in Rome’s Fiumiacano-Lenardo da Vinci International Airport.  Hopefully, it will be a Wednesday and I can to go Vatican City and try to get a glimpse of Pope Francis. There are so many fantastic places of interest such as the Sistine Chapel and the Coliseum. I would eat gelato, pasta, and partake of some wine. There are also day trips from Rome, where I would explore Tuscany and see the beautiful wine country, along with Pompeii. To top it all off, it would be fun to discover the alluring island of Capri.

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My journey is not yet finished. Hovering above Africa and passing over the Indian Ocean covering 8,935 miles, I would arrive in Sydney, Australia. This would take 21 hours to complete, crossing over 3 datelines. I could spend a lifetime on this beautiful continent. Some of the best sights in Sydney are the harbor, Opera House, and the Botanical Gardens. If I have any time left, I would take a trip to the outback, depending upon the time of year. The seasons are opposite to what’s in the United States.

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I would finally fly almost another 9,437 miles across the southern Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, landing back at Huntsville, AL. My trip was not long enough, but proved to be incredible, invigorating with memories that will last a lifetime.

Writing Prompt: What if you had a solar plane? Imagine where you would travel…

 

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