Today I travel on the train. Normally this wouldn't seem like a big deal, but I am traveling cross country. Something that you would usually do on an airplane. I'm not traveling this week for business and therefore this trip on a train was specifically purposeful. Many who have not experienced long travel on a train would cringe at the idea, I’m here to change your mind…. If you're willing.
In order to truly enjoy the train rather than flying there are a few things that have to be understood.
First, you cannot be in a hurry. A train at times travels faster than a car would, but calculating in the stops along the way, it’s about the same speed as driving.
Second, you have to be traveling to travel, rather than to get somewhere. If all you are focused on is getting to where you want to go, then you cannot realize the awesomeness of the train. Live in the moment.
Third, you have to be open minded. Each train ride is different; don't expect the same experience twice. Be happy with the experience you have.
Fourth, Don't stay in your seat. No matter how long your trip is, get up, get out, and experience everything on the train.
If you think you can do these things you will love your train experience, guaranteed. Why? Trains bring together so many great aspects of human culture, history, and nature.
You meet completely different people each time.
You meet completely different people each time. When in the viewing car (a car with windows everywhere) I sat and listened to guitar music, while listening to a few french people talk. and then was greeted by an indian man who was showing the scenery to his kids. Then in the dining car I run into a couple riding the train for his 70th birthday, another lady who went to Reno to try her luck, and a mountain lady going to visit friends. Ya just never know who you will meet on the train.
Update: the guitar player was kicked off the train because of heavy intoxication.
The scenery is breathtaking.
The scenery is breathtaking. Seeing the countryside away from the highways (which are usually heavily populated) you really get to see a different side of the world. Mountains, sunsets, trees, trees, more trees, fields, beautiful country houses, and tiny towns that look like they are from the 1800s. You see random people stopped along the road to wave at you. You see cliffs, lakes, scenery that looks like it has never been touched by man, it’s absolutely incredible.
You can bring anything.
You can bring anything. Unlike most transportation that is available, you can take food, drinks, alcohol, blankets, pillows, and up to 3 bags on for free (each as big as a checked bag on an airplane). My biggest point with this is you can be comfortable. You can have changes of clothes, have some coffee when you want it, a drink when you want it, go to the viewing car and make food (that you brought), and just live like you normally would.
The train isn’t stressful, it’s relaxing. The seats are big, normally you’ll have 2 to yourself. You have plugins for all your electronics, the seat is a recliner. You don’t have to stay in your seat, you can go to the dinning car, snack car, viewing car, or just wander around. In the viewing car there usually is a volunteer that rides the train and points out all the interesting historical stuff that you pass through on your journey throughout the day.
My biggest point to hit home when riding the train? You’re there for a long time, sit back relax and love your life because you are seeing and meeting people most people won’t.
I came I saw I travel.