Pondering the Past Excitement of my Traveling Past
For many of us Christmas means the dreaded trip to the airport where long lines, sour faces, security guards and weather delays are usually part of the bargain. Years ago I used to enjoy traveling. Just the thought of getting on a plane and going somewhere, even if it was from Alaska to home, sparked excitement and enthusiasm. For the most part the whole experience was enjoyable. It was a quick and easy way to travel.
But, now with all the rules, regulations and time it consumes just to get there early enough to go from one line to the next line, well let’s jusy say I dread it. The fun and excitement of traveling has gone. As I wait in line listening to the automated recording reminding travelers what they can and cannot bring and how to delcare items I often find myself, a thritysomething, remincing about the good ol’ days.
Kids in the U.S. today will never get to experience what traveling used to be like, unless they go outside of the country. I watch my step-kids faces of bordom when we travel as we calcuate the time to get to the airport, then go from tedious line, to another tedious line their faces draw out, and they begin hanging on you for support. It is more than apparent traveling does not spark the excitement I remember feeling. By some random name choice fluke, my nephew has been on the watch list since he was born because of his name. Now that he is still a little kid it is easy for security or airline clerks to laugh it off, as it is obvious a small child has no ill intentions, but I wonder what his future travel experiences will be like once he is a grown man?
Traveling on High Speed Trains
In college I traveled around Spain and Morocco with my best friend. In Spain we loved riding the high-speed trains. I’ve ridden quite a few trains in my life in the U.S., almost from coast to coast, and Spain was the best train experience I’ve ever had! There was no wobbling and jobbling. The seats were comfortable and our ticket price included a meal, a movie and headset to listen to music. It was the BEST! I often wonder why the U.S. has not invested in high-speed trains as I would prefer to take a high-speed train over a trip to the airport any day. A lot of European countries have high-speed trains and are a regular part of the transportation system. Seems like in this economy high-speed trains is the one thing we could invest in to help create jobs, help the environment and get away from the traveling nightmare we are all having to cope with.
My father had a conference in Portland so instead of flying he took the train from Seattle. When he calculated how much time it took he said in the end it took just as much time to ride the train as it would to fly. Now the flight itself is short, I think 45 minutes or so from Seattle, but with arriving early and doing the standing in line dance, and waiting for your luggage dance, it still took the same amount of time! On top of that he had room to stretch, breathe, spread his work out and walk around while riding on the train. If I had only one Christmas wish, I would make a wish for all of us for our wonderful country to invest in High Speed Trains!
For those of you traveling this holiday season I wish you short lines, helpful and happy airline employees and no weather delays! Happy Holidays!
- High Speed Trains Pollute Less (planetsave.com)
- New England is barrier to high-speed trains (gadling.com)
- The AVE pollutes 29 percent less than traditional trains (eurekalert.org)