A 2016 take on a century-old map shows changes in travel over time.
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In 1914, it could take over 40 days to travel to remote places in the world.

That year, John G. Bartholomew — Great Britain’s royal cartographer at the time — published an isochronic map showing travel times from London to various places around the globe. "Isochronic" simply means that lines (isochrones) are drawn on the map between locations that could be reached in the same amount of time. Trips range from “within 5 days journey” to “over 40 days.”

Even at first glance, it’s stunning.


Map by John G. Bartholomew, 1914.

This map tells a story of the evolution of travel in the early 20th century.

Look closely at what happens when a route reaches a land mass.

In North America, the pink range (five to 10 days) extends from New York to Winnipeg.

But in South America, the yellow segment (10 to 20 days) only reaches a hundred miles or so inland before giving way to green, light blue, and soon dark blue (over 40 days).

The difference between these areas lies in railroads, which in 1914 were fairly common in the eastern United States but significantly harder to come by in South America. An article in The Economist quotes geographer L.W. Lyde as writing, “isochronic distances ... change with every additional mile of railway brought into use.”

But the very year that Bartholomew released his map, another form of travel entered the scene: airplanes.

On Jan. 1, 1914, the first scheduled commercial airline flight took place. It lasted just 23 minutes, and its single passenger spent $400 for the ticket (equivalent to over $9,600 today) at an auction, eager to go down in history as the world's first commercial flight passenger.

A Benoist XIV floatplane in 1914, the type used for the first commercial flight. Image from the Florida Photographic Collection/Wikimedia Commons.

By the 1950s, commercial air travel was booming. Passenger flights were expensive and about five times as dangerous as they are today, but rapid innovation and competition among airlines continued to make flights increasingly accessible. From 1954 to 2014, the number of flight passengers in the U.S. grew by by a factor of 21.

Travel on the ground was rapidly changing as well: 1914 was the time of the Ford Model T, a car often credited with bringing affordable travel to middle-class Americans.

A Ford Model T in 1923, nine years after the creation of Bartholomew's map. Via Conrad Poirier/Wikimedia Commons.

In 1956, President Eisenhower authorized the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate was declared complete in 1992 — at which point the project was about $91 billion over its initial budget and about 23 years overdue.

A century after the original, an updated version of Bartholomew’s map shows how much travel has changed.

In 2016, travel search platform Rome2rio updated Bartholomew’s map to show modern travel times from London around the world. The new map calculates journeys by plane, train, car, bus, ferry, and more.

As Rome2rio wrote on their blog, “What we uncovered was fascinating.”

Map by Rome2rio, 2016. To purchase this map, visit Wellingtons Travel Co. Used with permission.

Note that the legend on this map shows a new time scale. No longer do the dark pink areas represent travel “within 5 days,” but instead, “Within ½ day.” On the other end of the spectrum, in blue, what used to show “over 40 days” now shows “over 1½ days.”

Significant changes in the updated map can be seen in Asia, Africa, and parts of South America. In 1914, a traveler from London could reach any part of India in 10 to 20 days. In 2016, the entire country can be reached within ¾ of a day — with many major cities accessible in less than that.

In the coming years, the isochronic map will undoubtedly continue to change as modes of travel evolve across the globe.

How would a high-speed rail system in the U.S. change the map — not to mention your daily life? Will more of South America become pink in the next couple of decades?

However the map changes in the coming years, one thing is certain: Travel today is faster, safer, and cheaper than it's ever been.

Which begs the question: What part of the globe are you planning to explore next?

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.