Trains, Instead of Planes (or Automobiles)
So, for the first time in my life I took the train (Amtrak, to be exact) to travel long(ish) distances in the United States. I am heading home from Chicago to Ann Arbor (I grew up in Ohio, which is super close to Ann Arbor) for my uncle’s surprise party, usually a 4-hour drive, and decided to check out train travel.
I am a basket case of phobias, and one of said phobias is heights. Because of my sincere fear of heights, I HATE flying. Hate it. Should be sedated to do it. <If you’re also afraid of flying skip the next sentence> All I can think about while in the air is how my feet are definitely NOT touching the ground, and the only thing between me and the ground are THOUSANDS of miles of air, some metal, and some passengers’ bags. As a former science teacher, I totally understand Bernoulli's principle. I understand the physics behind flying. But it still scares the crap out of me. To the point that I even had my dog, Austin (is this seriously his first mention on my blog? It took me THREE posts to bring him up?! When one of my best friends found out I’m doing a blog, her husband asked if the title would be, “My Life With Austin”… wow. We’ll have to discuss him more in the future. For now, here’s a photo of one of my favorite things on earth.)
… okay, where was I? Right. I went as far as getting Austin certified as an emotional support animal, which worried me at first, because he’s also a basket case (we are one). I was worried that it would end up being each of us having to cling on and support each other, as we do in almost every day life, but he was actually great for helping me cope. Just petting his little tendrils made everything better… but taking him on the plane isn’t always feasible.
Another option, obviously, would be to drive. I’m totally fine with driving. But when you’re driving alone, 4 hours of can get kind of boring.
So, in came train travel! Traveling by train may be my new go-to (at least for jaunts that could be driven). I’ve been able to nap (literally my favorite thing), walk around whenever I want, and see parts of my home and surrounding states that I usually don’t see. I think this – the scenery – may be one of the best parts of the train. You’re traveling with others, so it feels communal. You take back roads where cars aren’t around, so you get to see more nature. Oh, and you can have a drink. And you’re on the ground!
I’m excited to pursue this whole train option more in the future, and maybe check out some other destination options. For now, happy weekend to you all!