A different route…
I have plenty of leg room, complementary beverages, a fascinating view, free wifi and I don’t have to worry about traffic. An added bonus, this trip includes a view of the Pennsylvania’s Horseshoe Curve. Yes, I am on The Pennsylvanian, the train that runs from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.
As we gently rumble across the landscape I am reminded that the best path to any destination may not be the most obvious one. Most people fly due to time constraints but when you add up the time to get to/from the airport, checkin/security time, air time (not including inevitable delays) the difference is less than you would think. To my delight my train trip is proving vastly more comfortable, relaxing and productive than any recent flight. Better than a movie, my train window offers me an endless selection of scenery which include cities, industrial sites, small towns, farms, forests and winding rivers. Early spring sunshine makes the rivers sparkle, encourages the first green on trees and highlights the first flowers on trees and shrubs.
Swept along by the hectic elements of daily life it can be easy to forget about the journey or savour it’s details. Finding balance and perspective (while juggling time, family, clients, and personal needs) seems to be the real holy grain of modern life. Maybe we need to look at the more of the options available instead of taking the obvious route. Just like my train ride, the routes/decisions which require a pause and extra thought really might enrich our journeys in addition to better using our time.
In addition to trains I have always loved the poetry of Robert Frost, the last lines from one of my favorites (The road less traveled) reads
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Taking the train reminded me to make sure I at least pick the road and that will make a difference.