Harriet Quimby (pictured above) was the first female to fly across the English Channel in 1912, what a dude! And what an outfit. She marked the way for female pilots and travellers and inspired generations of women to follow in her adventurous footsteps.
Back then, travelling was few and far between, with only the very rich or outright adventurous taking in foreign air. The colonies was a big draw, spending the Summer in Shimla, India, drinking tea and gin. Women wearing corsets and large hats, being fanned by their staff whilst watching polo or cricket on the lawn.
Most of the time, travel was by boat. A long and arduous journey, taking months to arrive. Large shipping liners which carried both passengers and cargo around the world, tea from India and fruit from the Americas.
Back in the 1970’s I remember my Grandparents travelling by boat to Barbados for a holiday. Leaving from Portsmouth they boarded the ‘banana boat’, owned by Fyffes, which took them on the long journey to the Caribbean by sea. I can remember my Nan, arriving back with huge shells and beaded necklaces as gifts. It seemed so exotic and so strange to catch a boat to go on holiday. Was this the golden age of travel?
Nowadays, at a drop of a hat we can jump on a plane or hop on a ferry to take us abroad. Luxury cruises so big that it feels like we are on land, rather than at sea, with our every need catered for and then some. West End shows, bumper cars, a variety of restaurants serving cuisine from around the globe. It is a world away from Harriet Quimby’s intrepid adventures.
How travel has changed in the past 100 years!
This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.
All words and opinions are my own.