I wanted to become a better writer and so I started practicing on trains in Spain. (And I thought I might as well learn html while I'm at it. I thought they could be like little gears keeping eachother in m⚙️ti⚙️n).
You could say I have had a lot of training when it comes to taking the train in Spain.
The last three
weeks During my Spain trip back in october I have taken exactly 14 different trains (not counting
trains and kabelbaantjes). It really does feel like training, because it takes a while before you really
figure out the best ways to plan, book, prepare and enjoy high speed long distance train rides.
Rotterdam 🚉 Antwerp 🚉 Paris 🚉 Perpignan 🚉 Barcelona 🚉 Madrid 🚉 Valencia 🚉 Puçol 🚉 Valencia 🚉 Barcelona 🚉 Montserrat 🚉 Barcelona 🚉 Lyon 🚉Brussels 🚉 Antwerp 🚉 Rotterdam
There were a few moments during Spain Journey that I secretly looked at plane tickets, one time I even got close to booking one. It is tempting: you get there faster, often cheaper, and booking tickets online is somehow way easier. But, when I remembered that I am in absolutely no hurry, that I have saved enough money, and that (provided that I’m not in hurry) I quite enjoy losing myself in online quests for the best possible train route to my desired destination, I luckily stopped myself and closed that browser tab for good.
I have been thinking a lot about trains versus planes since that moment of plane-temptation. Not about the environmental discussion that of course quickly comes to mind when comparing the two, although that does play a role for me. But trains versus planes has become a more symbolical theme these days.
When I was in the mountains, after having been in cities most of the time, I reflected a lot on the differences between being in the mountains and being in cities.
|How I feel in cities
|How I feel in the mountains
|everything I could possibly want is closeby
|I will have to work with what I can find
|I am surrounded by people, but I am alone
|there are very few people, but I feel connected
|Google Maps is my compass
|the mountain is my compass
|in awe of what humans created
|in awe of nature
|I should do things
|no one is expecting anything from me
|immersed in life
|part of a society
|free to move in many directions but not welcome in many places
|dependent on paths but free to go off them
I realized that for me, being in a train aligned with being in a city, and being on a plane more with being in the mountains. Not just because mountains are closer to the sky, although that definitely plays a part.
In a train you are literally down to Earth, and in a plane you are literally floating in clouds.
And maybe the question is not which one is better, or to choose one. Maybe it is: which one serves me best right now?
I just learned how to code tables...
Down to Earth
|private sea in Puçol
|spirit animal rooftop party
|charging my phone in a Starbucks
Planes can take you straight to your destination. But that only works for me if I have a clear destination. With trains, you can just get on, transfer wherever, and get off at any point. I think that is what I need right now. But I will probably take a plane again at some point in my life, a metaphorical one and also a real, polluting, scary airplane. Did I mention I have a mild fear of flying?