People tend to think that I’m a bit weird, because I’m quite fond of a long train journey. Especially when I’m travelling alone. I find it a much more enjoyable experience than any other form of travel.
When I think about why this might be the case, the word that immediately comes to mind is “slow”. But that’s not quite the exact reason. I think it’s because the experience of a long train journey is that it feels slow. Not as in it feels like it’s taking too long, instead, it feels slow because the journey is more relaxed.
This may be just me. But when I get on a train, whether I’m trying to get somewhere urgently like a morning commute or a long journey where there isn’t really any rush, it’s like I’ve given myself an allocated amount of time to do whatever I want.
Let’s say you’re on a 3-hour train ride. You know that you can’t influence the duration, and avoiding any possible delays, you also know the time of your arrival. Which means, for a period of time, you’re free.
You’re free to spend your time reading, watching a movie, listening to music, or even just some time to yourself to sit and think while you look out the window. Better yet, you could do a collection of things.
I tend to use that time to relax, listen to some music, catch up on social media, maybe watch a video or read something, and probably a good chunk of it is spent looking out of the window, while my mind wanders.
I may be alone in this, but a journey in a car or plane is always second best to a train in my opinion. Especially when compared to being on a plane. The whole ordeal of rushing to an airport, going through security, finding your gate, and all of the waiting in between, really bugs me.
A lot of people like to comment on how “chilled out” I am. Like it’s just a part of my personality. But I think it’s more something that I’ve learned to cultivate. Maybe I’m calmer than the average person, but I think it’s decisions like taking the slow option, not rushing myself, or inviting any unneeded stress that makes the difference.
Written: On a train journey from Kings Lynn to London.