Traveling is like writing. At least, for me it is. I plan out where I am going and how I am getting there, just the same as I write. I am a planner, not a pantser. Writing, like traveling, is a complicated process. I have certainly written more in the past year than I have traveled. That, however, is about to change.
Soon, my husband and I will finally be traveling again. We are just so thrilled to be able to go places once more, but we have decided to be more intentional in our travels. We have decided that the journey must be just as important as the destination. To that end, we have decided to fly to Chicago and then take the train to San Francisco to see our daughter.
I have traveled by train on the East Coast a number of times, but I have never traveled west by train. I think it will be exhilarating…or terrifying…to travel over the Rocky Mountains by train; to travel through long tunnels that split mountains in half. I am looking forward to seeing so much of our great country through the train windows; well, perhaps not when in a tunnel.
I love traveling by train in Europe, and have done so for years and years, but, somehow, when traveling in the United States, we almost always fly. It is quick, sort of, but not very fun anymore. It does take off on time, sometimes. It is very impersonal, though there is often someone to talk to. Well, at least there used to be…now everyone is too afraid to talk to anyone else, even masked.
The truth is, there are other ways to get to one’s destination without flying. So, we are going to try some of those other ways. Trains, boats, ships, cars, trollies, and trams are all on our list for the next year or two. We want to enjoy the travel, savor the time. We do not want to rush from one place to the other; we want to see everything.
Maybe, we want to see everything because we have seen nothing for more than a year. That is true. But…but, maybe, we have realized that we must treasure the opportunity to see between the departure and the arrival. To be intentional. To be an intentional traveler…just as I am an intentional writer.