There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a train journey. I know that 10 hours on a train is a long time, but I’ve got audiobooks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to keep me company.
And if that fails me, I’ll just stare out the window. My fascination with the landscape out the car window that has grown over the years. I remember road trips when I was younger being much harder to get through than they are now. My mom had special activity boxes for my sister and me, and every road trip we took she’d put something special and new in there to keep us occupied during the long hours (usually driving through Nebraska or similarly boring terrain). We’d have to wait until we’d been on the road a bit to open them, but then we’d try to keep ourselves occupied with the mini Scrabble and Sorry games and the barrel of monkeys. We’d play the alphabet game… over and over again. Our destination was usually Colorado, and when we’d hit the mountains, John Denver went in the CD player, and we all sang along (some of us with a better understanding of the lyrics than others).
Now on car trips I usually listen to music or my favorite history podcast and stare out the window. We always start our trip with interesting conversation, but after a while, a family of introverts needs to just have some space. Space, ha. As though you can get that when you’re in an 8×8 metal box cruising down the highway.
This is the same on trains now that I’m in Europe. I listened to Love Does by Bob Goff on my last few train trips, and now I’m going to work on some books for my American lit class. I’m looking forward to staring at the Alps while pouring great literature into my ears.
Sometimes I can’t believe this is my life. It’s amazing to be here. Then there are also days like today where I do very little, even though I tried to go to ballet (apparently the class was cancelled… of course the sole foreigner is the only one to show up).
I’m excited to ride the train through western Austria and through Switzerland tomorrow. Then my friend, Ellen, will meet me, and we’ll spend about 36 hours catching up in Germany together. Then I’ll hop back on the train on Sunday and see it all in reverse.
I bet I could write a novel in 20 hours of travel. Maybe I should try.