Tuesday, November 10, 2015

31. Take a Train Trip

Why do I love train travel so much? Because it appeals to my sense of adventure and romance.  For a writer, trains offer all sorts of characters and rich opportunities for people watching.  On a train, time passes differently.  There are fewer hassles.  No arriving two hours early, waiting in security lines, and the people dropping you off can wait with you and take you right to the train door.  On a train, you can make your way from car to car, take a bio break, buy a snack, and still make progress toward the destination. 

I took reading material for every mood.  A novel, two writing books, back issues of a magazine.  I carried my laptop and my yoga mat.  I did Friday's page-a-day early in my trip.  I dozed. I stared out the window.  I breathed easier. I thought about a lot of things: my cross country trips to Los Angeles and Seattle, my trip to Michigan with my daughter a few years ago.  I thought about the people waiting for me in Lee's Summit.  How much I love them and how happy I was to see them after all these years. I thought about my book and my next steps.

I took photos along the way. They are my postcards from this trip. 

Waiting for the train in Kirkwood

Waiting to board

The view from my seat as the train pulled away from the station

One of my favorite photos - Jefferson City

Off the train in Lee's Summit

Train moves on to Independence and Kansas City

There are more stories that fill in the space between when I got off the train in Lee's Summit and got back on two days later.  I'll share them in separate posts.

I had a great weekend. I felt refreshed. My bucket had been filled with good conversation, uproarious laughter, and even some tears.  I was happy and melancholy as I boarded the train to head home. I didn't want the weekend to end. I turned on my music and watched the sun set.  Train travel lets you ease back into the real world slowly. When it was dark and there wasn't anything else to watch out the window, I settled into finishing the novel I was reading.  I wrote my page-a-day. I day dreamed. I cat-napped.  I reflected on what a fantastic weekend I had.  The four-and-a-half hours zoomed by.  It felt like time travel.

The 4040 list keeps reminding me that I don't have to wait for special occasions to slip these trips and activities into my regular life. I won't let years pass before I take another train trip.

I didn't want the weekend to end, but I had another trip to look forward to

Arrived in Kirkwood - ahead of schedule


  1. I love the train but unfortunately don't get the opportunity to ride them often. I want to take the cross-country trip one of these days. It's on my bucket list!

  2. I love the train but unfortunately don't get the opportunity to ride them often. I want to take the cross-country trip one of these days. It's on my bucket list!

  3. I want to take a train trip too. My husband and I want to go to Boston one day via train. I love the reading materials you took. Please link up with us at Literacy Musing Mondays. :)

  4. Glad you enjoyed the trip! I have never done much train travel--in the US, we mostly did road trips--I love those, largely because I usually don't get driving duty. :)

    I wanted to say thank you for your comment on my #write31days series. It's so encouraging to know that people are reading and interested, even after it's over. I wondered sometimes throughout the month if I'd chosen a topic that was "too" specific, so your comment was particularly encouraging!

  5. I have never traveled by train but I have wondered what it's like. Sounds fun!

  6. Ah yes - romantic (and slower...) what's not to love? Way out West here, train travel is less of a thing... I remember someone telling that Amtrak has a program for writers where you can travel via train for free or for a reduced rate... I keep meaning to look into it but I haven't yet!

    1. I have heard of Amtrak's residency program. I just haven't had the time to devote to it, but I'd love to do it some time.

  7. Did you meet any interesting people on the train? I've always wanted to take a cross country train trip and run into a secret agent

    1. Have you noticed that the Avett Brothers name a lot of their songs about Pretty Girls? I noticed a bearded guy on the train and texted a friend. She suggested I start writing about bearded guys like the Avetts do about Pretty Girls. That experiment will be forthcoming on the blog. I don't think it's possible to ride a train and NOT see interesting people...though I can't say I've run into a secret agent yet...

  8. Definitely on my bucket list too! I've never taken the train before! Sounds like a great adventure. Blessings!