18 episodes

On November 14th, 1889, two female writers entered a race to go around the world in under 80 days. Nellie Bly went east, and Elizabeth Bisland headed west.

This eleven part series will unpack their whirlwind adventure and what it was like to circumnavigate the globe alone as a woman at a time where women had no rights.

Storyteller and travel writer Adrien Behn brings Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bislands’ experiences, emotions, and adventures to life in this serialized podcast.

A Race Around the World brings the incredible accomplishments of these two bold solo female travelers to life, going through every country and feeling they face while braving the world on their own, in under 80 days.

A Race Around the World: Based on the True Adventures of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland Adrien Behn

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 26 Ratings

On November 14th, 1889, two female writers entered a race to go around the world in under 80 days. Nellie Bly went east, and Elizabeth Bisland headed west.

This eleven part series will unpack their whirlwind adventure and what it was like to circumnavigate the globe alone as a woman at a time where women had no rights.

Storyteller and travel writer Adrien Behn brings Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bislands’ experiences, emotions, and adventures to life in this serialized podcast.

A Race Around the World brings the incredible accomplishments of these two bold solo female travelers to life, going through every country and feeling they face while braving the world on their own, in under 80 days.

    Nellie Bly's Version: How Fast Can A Woman Go Around the World?

    Nellie Bly's Version: How Fast Can A Woman Go Around the World?

    On November 14th, 1889, Nellie Bly left Manhattan to go on a race around the world in under 80 days. In this episode, host Adrien Behn will delve into the background of this extraordinary woman. She will explore Nellie Bly’s upbringing and aspirations, the obstacles she summersaulted over to become a female investigative journalist, her groundbreaking reporting, and what drove her to embark on a journey that defied the norms of her time. By the end of the episode, Nellie's bags are pack, and she is headed to London on a steamship. 

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Elizabeth Bisland's Version: One Woman Goes East, the Other Goes West

    Elizabeth Bisland's Version: One Woman Goes East, the Other Goes West

    Nellie Bly isn’t the only woman to leave New York on November 14th to race around the world. On the same day, the editor of the Cosmopolitan magazine, John Brisben Walker, recognized the potential for a sensational story. He dispatched ( aka bribed, badgered, and threatened) his literary writer Elizabeth Bisland to jump into the race as well. But, instead of following the same path, Elizabeth took a westward route. She packs her items and jumps onto a train headed to San Francisco. While many know about the historical race from Nellie’s perspective, Elizabeth Bislands story is often left in the shadows and will provide an alternative perspective to going around the world. This episode sheds light on Elizabeth Bislands upbringing, her ambitions and talents, and how she got roped into this wild goose chase of a race.

    • 50 min
    Stage One: Elizabeth Bisland Takes on The Great American Road Trip

    Stage One: Elizabeth Bisland Takes on The Great American Road Trip

    November 14th- 21st: Elizabeth Bisland begrudgingly takes a trip across America. In this episode, we travel the northern route of the Great American road trip from New York to California. Over these 4000 miles, we stop in Chicago, pass through the Midwest, interact with Native American women, and explore San Francisco’s Chinatown. As Elizabeth Bisland passes through America, her mood transforms as well. She starts to take this race seriously as she steps off American soil and heads to the far east.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Stage Two: Nellie Bly Eurotreks from England to Italy

    Stage Two: Nellie Bly Eurotreks from England to Italy

    November 22nd-November 25th: While Elizabeth Bisland leaves America, Nellie Bly makes contact with her first country. She arrives in England and is informed by reporters, who escort her, that Jules Vern, the author of the fictional A Race Around the World would like to meet her. Is going to a small town in France worth the detour to meet this famous author? Will she make it down in time to southern Italy to catch her steamboat to Egypt? 

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Stage Three: Nellie Bly Summersaults through the Middle East

    Stage Three: Nellie Bly Summersaults through the Middle East

    November 25th- December 2nd: Nellie Bly sails through the Mediterranean, cuts through the Suez Canal, sails through the Red Sea and makes it to the Indian Ocean. She stops in Egypt and Yemen and explores the Middle East. Now that she is in the middle of it all, she sees both sides to travel, all of the beautiful and ugly parts of it.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Stage Four, Part 1: Elizabeth Bisland Falls in Love with Japan

    Stage Four, Part 1: Elizabeth Bisland Falls in Love with Japan

    December 8th-12th: After 16 days at sea, Elizabeth Bisland finally sees land again. She explores the land of the rising sun and does everything she can in her short amount of time there. Elizabeth gets the first taste of how exhilarating falling in love with a country can be...and she starts to see this whole race differently. 

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

Elana Carroll ,

Adrien is a genius

I’m biased because I love women, history, and traveling, but this is easily one of my favorite podcasts. The host’s dedication to creating every sound and texture for the listener is deeply comforting. There are actors providing voices and context, foley sounds, score and time/location-appropriate music…not to mention Adrien’s skill as a narrator and host herself. It’s like reading a great book, but it’s happening to your ears. Also the story itself, which is TRUE?!? is incredible. Obsessed.

Yoga Granny ,

Riveting

What a brilliant and compelling podcast series! I am utterly hooked and am blown away and in deep admiration of Adrian Behm’s vast talent.

chauvinist???? ,

Horrible history

Great subject- a historically interesting character, but….lousy production, and biased interpretation.

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