I love trains. I love the mumbling of a foreign language. I love the soothing motion of rocking back and forth on the tracks. I love passing landscapes of small towns and big cities that I may never ever see again except in that one. fleeting. moment.
Its a feeling I can’t quite put into words, but somehow it engulfs me and puts a pressure in my chest as if I’m about to cry. But it’s happiness. It’s pure bliss of the moment.
Traveling across Austria this afternoon I’d never felt a greater happiness even though I’m alone in this country. Time on the train has given me the opportunity to let my mind wander and allow me to really think about what I want out of traveling, life, the people I love and care about. It made me appreciate everything I have and look forward to everything to come in the future.
As these thoughts passed through my mind, so did small glimpses of Austrian life. I saw children pulling sleds up hills, mothers and fathers sweeping the snow off frozen ponds for their children to skate, bright coats in snow covered forests, and horses standing strong and tall in their snowy fields. Even though I’m so far away from home, I had never felt so close to my roots, my childhood memories.
Again, a happiness ran through me this afternoon.
When we pulled into the station in Salzburg, I was longing for it to continue, for the train to keep moving. But, it stopped. I stepped off the train, a little unsure of this new place, but ready for an adventure. The fresh mountain air quickly helped me accept my new place and made me realize I could be happy off the train as well.
The adventure is only about to begin. I’m in this wonderful place until Wednesday the 15th.
Being on the train made me realize I need to use our train system much more often in Maine (and throughout the USA). Coming from a place where traveling by car is much more popular, I’ve forgotten how amazing it is to travel by rail. Plus, it’s environmentally sound. How is that not a win win for everyone?
Until I can embrace the rails back home, I’ll put to use my train travel in Europe. The travels continue into Italy and back into France late February to March. I look forward to every minute (maybe even more so than the cities themselves).