Slowing Down: Cross Country by Train

amtrak_crosscountry
Photo by Kara Cutruzulla

One of the best things about travel is that it slows (or speeds) you to a different pace, depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re headed. My preference is for travel that slows the pulse and romances the seconds. A city dweller who normally has an iPad, an iPhone and a few laptops within arms reach, I’m usually much in need of a disconnect when I head out on the road.

Writer Kara Cutruzulla’s journey from California to New York on Amtrak has me thinking about trying rail travel again. I say again because I once took a train from Providence, RI to Florida with my best friend for Spring break. We were Freshman in college and our plan was to write papers and read chapters en route to sun and fun – the perfect balance of being responsible and getting our kicks. There wasn’t much work done on our train, however. We spent most of the almost 24 hour journey people watching with our eyes wide. The crowd on our train preferred drinking from brown paper bags and gambling over enjoying the scenery out the window. That’s a whole other blogpost!

Kara’s travels on Amtrak seem to be out of another time, from the glory days of train travel. She recounts hours spent sitting in broad windows with open vistas to the American countryside learning about bird-watching from octogenarians, enjoying a proper meal of medium rare steak and cheesecake and reminiscing with curious characters about relationships gone wrong. Retracing a journey that her grandparents took on their honeymoon 63 years ago, she rejoices in the lack of wifi and allows herself to slow to a different pace. It sounds lovely, so much so that I might be reporting to your from a train sometime soon.

You can read her article here.

One Response to “Slowing Down: Cross Country by Train”

  1. Garine Tcholakian September 18, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Great post. And you write so beautifully…

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