I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
— from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Yesterday’s Writing Group prompt: Tell us about the smallest plane you’ve ever been on, the largest boat, and the most interesting train.
The biggest boat? That’s easy:
In October, David and I took our first cruise. We boarded Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas in Baltimore for a 6-night cruise to Bermuda to celebrate our first anniversary. Neither of us was sure how we’d like it, but after we got our sea legs, which is a real thing, it was pretty great.
I think the smallest plane I’ve ever been on was in law school. I was an Admissions Ambassador, so I got to travel to different places, usually undergraduate universities, for education fairs where I would talk about how awesome my school was and why you should totally come here.
I had been dying to go to Boston for a long time, so I asked the dean in charge of the trips if she’d save that one for me, and she did. I flew out of JFK on a puddle jumper. We had to walk out on the tarmac and climb the ladder, because I don’t think it was even tall enough to reach the gate. I’m not a great flyer, and take-offs are the scariest for me. Of course, take-offs in little planes are even worse, usually, and it was raining, so I wasn’t that excited. I just buckled in, leaned back, closed my eyes, and hoped for the best. Luckily, it’s a very quick flight from New York City to Boston.
The most interesting train is the one we took from Chicago to Seattle in late August 2010. When I made my 101 in 1001 list, one of the list items was “take a train somewhere far enough away that I have to book a sleeper car.” And that’s just what we did. We booked a two-person sleeper on the Empire Builder (are you kidding me with that name?) and flew to Chicago to start our adventure.
The trip was amazing. We left at around 2:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday and arrived in Seattle at around 9:00 Friday morning. Along the way, we crossed the Mississippi (which is mighty, but starts in Minnesota at a place that you can walk across with five steps down, as you may have heard), crossed North Dakota, the mythical land of my birth (and a place I left before I was old enough to make memories), saw tons of horses in Montana, and unbelievable scenery in the Cascades.
I would do another trip like that in a heartbeat. It’s an unbeatable way to see some of the best parts of the country.