Experience Traveling By Train


Start today's travel. With rick steves. With other. Eric wanner he recommends seeing the usa from a long distance train. Ride on amtrak. Our interview with eric was recorded just before the covid shutdowns kicked in when we travel. It's fun to see the world from a different perspective eric. Winer believes travel by train offers a rare combination of expansiveness and coziness. He spent a lot of time travelling by train while reading the work of great philosophers and for him. It goes together beautifully. He writes about that in his latest book. The socrates express eric. Thanks for joining us. Happy to be here so you actually took the train from washington dc to portland that sixty four hours. You could have flown in about five hours. There's just nothing rational about that. No it makes no sense. It makes no sense from a time point of view. Obviously it makes no sense from a financial point of view It really doesn't make sense from a mental health point of view. Either but i loved it. What can i say. I love every every minute of every hour of you know. It wasn't always. It's not the most glamorous way to travel but this just something to something awfully compelling about you made a very good case of that first of all you talked about the people you should the platform with. I mean okay. You're standing on the platform with surrounded by twenty or thirty people waiting to get onto that Train who are they okay. I'm going to do this quickly. Therefore determined therefore categories of long distance amtrak travelers. Okay number. One is retired people with lots of time on their hands. Number two is people who are afraid of flying. These are my compatriots to They take the train a number three or foam irs a fomer is a real enthusiasts. Who gets very excited about. Locomotives and other things like that means. They're so excited. They foam at the mouth. That's the idea okay You care to take a guess with the fourth category. As you'll never guess mennonites mennonites lots of minute nights a matter night. You mean like Lou dates are people that don't want modern. Well they apparently they They can fly but they can travel by train long distances. So these are the four categories and then there was me and i don't fit any of those categories. I was a category into myself for your kind of the opposite. Because you mentioned you have criminal phobia which is A fear of lack of time. And and you do just the opposite. It's that some kind of therapy. It was it was sort of this. What are you desensitize yourself to it. Well i always feel that your time is valuable. And i need to be making the best use of it and when you're on the train for some sixty plus hours you're just you're forced to slow down. I mean you're either go crazy or you slow down. Those two choices and i decided to slow down. The train is going to get the portland at its own pace. And there's nothing you can do about it. It will stop occasionally for an hour to for no apparent reason whatsoever and then start up again for no apparent reason and i would ask my fellow passengers if we stopped and they've just laugh at me like We got a new one. We gotta a rookie. Here in amtrak stan. You do not ask why. He thinks he's human. Beings are more important than freight right. We do we. We wait for free trains. Because amtrak does not own most of the tracks across the country the free traits everytime i go to portland derek from seattle and the train. I think i'm doing something nice for the environment. And so on. Or it's just kind of a cool thing to do and it's frustrating. Because i have chronic phobia also and i don't know beiber waiting here and somebody reminded me freight trains get priority over humans in the united states. That's not the case in europe but in the united states. That's the case but for those of us who like you and me have a fear of lack of time where where we schedule things. Its pedal to the metal. It's interesting how a long trip on a train you mentioned. It was like you hit a mother of time. Suddenly you had this big gift. That i guess you got more time just by slowing down right. And it's it's forced right because you can't go off and say we're going to go into into town and in fire up the laptop and get some work done. I mean you're on the train and you stay on the train and it's got through. I went through an interesting cycle. I i thought oh this is great. I've got this time. This is really good. I should do something. And then i just get antsy. And i started rearranging my little room at and moving things around and i started to go a little bonkers. I needed to do something. And eventually i came to acceptance that that he was gonna take a really long time to get to portland and i needed to just go with the flow and It took me a. I think somewhere around montana. I hit acceptance in there.

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