Planes, trains or automobiles? Throughout my travels, my favorite way to get to point A to point B is by train. I went on my first train ride only a year and a half ago and quickly learned what I had been missing. Now I’ve taken a train through seven countries, and the rides are as cool as the magical trips to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. Obviously, sometimes it’s not possible, but when it is, it’s the most relaxing and fun way to travel. Here is what makes train rides great:
You see areas you wouldn’t normally get to. On my first overseas trip my travel partner Bri and I went on a two-week Europe trip covering five countries and got around mostly by train. We only spent 24 hours in Germany, and we were able to see more beautiful buildings and scenery from the train we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Then, we rode through Switzerland and passed amazing view after amazing view. We only had time to spend a few days in Geneva, but on our ride, we got to see more of the fantastic scenery Switzerland has to offer.
It’s not very stressful. You don’t have to show up hours in advance. Sometimes you can show up less than 10 minutes before your train departs and hop right on. There’s not the anxiety in the air that fills airports. When traveling, especially by myself, my most stressful times were when trying to catch a flight when check-in and security lines seemed endless. Traveling by train is a much more laidback way to get around. Pack a few snacks in your bag, sit back and enjoy the ride.
There’s something relaxing about the ride. As soon as the train gets moving, I’m put at ease. With views sliding through the windows, it feels like you’re gliding through cities and countries. You never know what you’re going to see next. It’s fun passing through cities until you make it to your final destination. Also, it’s one of my favorite times to get reading and writing done, especially on the longer rides.
On my solo travels in Europe, I began to look forward to train rides to my next destination. Especially after having to fly to a couple places, I realized just how much I loved taking trains. I went from London to Newcastle, then to Manchester. Venice to Rome and Madrid to Barcelona. It was so peaceful gliding through these beautiful areas on my cushioned window seat.
Another train ride is long overdue, but I’ll have to wait until this summer. My plan is to take trains through parts of central and eastern Europe.
What’s your favorite way to travel? What are your best moments while getting to your destination?