Long Train Runnin’

I have a love affair with train rides.

I’m taking a long train ride from Massachusetts down to AwesomeCon later today (so I can be there for setup and opening early on Friday) and back again on Monday. It’s an eight-hour ride, the same as if I were to make the trip in a car. Driving that distance is completely unappealing to me now that I’m older, but taking a train is a wholly pleasant experience for me.

It started back in college. I’m originally from New York, so going to school in Massachusetts meant I was both far enough from home to feel independent and close enough that I could get back swiftly if I needed to. This mostly meant getting back for holidays and school breaks, and a train ride was the most convenient method of travel for that.

I grew to love that ride. It was only about four hours long, but it was peaceful. The line started in Boston, too, so I had a good chance of getting a window seat and doing those cinematic “long looks out the train window at the scenery rolling by.” I find the seats mostly comfortable, and there’s an openness to trains that a car doesn’t provide. Every now and again I’d sneak peeks at the people around me, not gazing long enough to stare but glancing enough to get a good picture of my fellow passengers.

I found it all to be very cozy.

Over the years I’ve made the train ride down to the DC area from Massachusetts many times, each time relishing the comfort and ease that train travel provides me. Sure, it’s the same amount of time as driving and I can’t load up with as much luggage as I can carry like I could with a car, but taking the actual act of traveling that distance out and putting it on the train tracks means I can relax, do work, or lose myself in my thoughts in a way that I couldn’t if I were behind the wheel.

Train rides, even when the train is crowded, are very pleasant experiences for me and I’m looking forward to journeying there and back again to AwesomeCon. If you come see me there, I’ll likely be in a good mood from the trip!