The Trans-Siberian is one of my dreams, though in the current political climate it’s probably best to put it on hold. Truth is, I love all trains, local and long distance. If I had one to recommend, I would suggest grabbing the Amtrak that runs up the coast from San Diego or Los Angeles and take it all the way to Seattle.
There is something about the relaxing pace of train travel, the uninterrupted enjoyment of the passing landscape, the ability to roam around the massive moving structure and the chance meetings with complete strangers that is ultimately captivating, the epitome of slow travel.
If you haven’t the time, the money or are still leery of trains, start by moving up and down the SoCal coast on the Coaster where the stops are frequent and the scenery mesmerizing, or taking the MetroLink commuter from the Inland Empire to the beach. Surprisingly, after years of using Los Angeles as an example of how to build a city devoid of public transit, there is actually a pretty useful and functional lightrail system in place. It’s great for exploring. If I had to recommend a random stop, it might be Mariachi Plaza.
Enjoy this video of the Trans-Siberian Railroad trip.
Food. We all have our own peculiar relationship to it, and rightfully so; eating is by far one of the most intimate things that we do. We take the produce of the land and we ingest it into our bodies.
One major problem in the world of travel is the high stakes involved with every adventure. We paint our experiences extraordinary in order to justify the cost, and perhaps to sound culturally sensitive. I think that each travel experience has its value even if some are less picturesque and blissful than others. Hell, I’ve been to some places that are serious dumps and in the end I think I can generally say that I am better for having visited. It’s not the destination after all, but the path we take to get there, right? Some journeys just happen to take us to places it’s best to keep on moving through.
Anyone who has attended my lectures knows that I am a strong advocate for getting out and seeing the world. If you ever need any inspiration to do just that, I recommend picking up a copy of Once While Traveling. It is the story of the adventurous minds behind the indisputable masters of the guidebook, Lonely Planet. It’s at once a global adventure as well as a wild ride along the ups and downs of building a business with the most unlikely of entrepreneurs. Good reading. I highly recommend it.
Summer. It’s time to travel, meet fascinating people, breathe in the diversity of culture and experience this world has to offer. But, the problem in my college days was that there was no possible way to afford it. If that’s your situation as well, take a look at Workaway, and enjoy the video introduction below.
Travel on the cheap by connecting with local organic farmers and putting in a little work in exchange for room and board. It’s called WWOOFing. It happens all over the world. Check it out here.