Chicago, here I come! 2016 was a year for train travel. From hour and a half long rides through the Alps in Switzerland to catching the sunrise between Detroit and Chicago, I’ve spent a lot of time on trains this year. (Dan Gaken would be proud).
Traveling by train isn’t drastically different from traveling by plane or car, save a few major things. One of the most important differences is the sunrise. Catching a sunrise on a plane is spectacular because you’re often above the clouds watching night turn to day in a matter of moments. It almost feels sacred (unless there’s turbulence). Seeing it from a train is also spectacular, but for different reasons. Seeing towns and cities come alive along your route is exciting; waking up slowly as you pass by for a few short minutes only to be met by another moments later. You see the gradual awakening of the day.
Watching the sunrise from a train is like the first few sips of coffee or tea in the morning. It feels like sleeping in Saturday mornings or slowly making breakfast and enjoying every bite. As the train charges forward, people on the train charge into their day. Some are returning home, while others are going new places. Some seeking a quiet corner to sleep a little longer. Others (morning people) seeking to have a lively conversation about their journey.
I’ve grown to appreciate train travel and the quiet moments that come with it. Whether the views are cityscapes, a never ending row of trees, or snowcapped mountains near clear lakes, I would recommend a trip by train. Take the escape route, forgo the driving, and enjoy the ride. You’ll be happy you did.