You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, car, or bike?

Let’s first rule out buses. I had so many bad experiences back in the 80s with bus travel, not to mention more recent Arts Trips as a faculty member, that I don’t really want to do a bus trip again. Maybe when I get to the point that I only want to go to Atlantic City and feed my ATM card into a casino slot machine, but not before.

So that leaves us with the rest. I love bicycling,and miss it, since I haven’t done it for so long. But cross country? Not sure I currently have the legs for that.

I used to fly cross country all the time from California to Pennsylvania and back. I’d plug in the headset and the country was a long music video. But that was before 9/11. Air travel is really not as much fun anymore, but it is faster., and so still an option for far-flung places like Colorado (being planned).

I do have a hybrid, so driving is an option. I really enjoy getting out on the open road—for about two hours, and then a trip can start to be a drudge (or a panic, if I have accidentally switched the speedometer Km/hr while still in the United States; I once had to pull over and watch a YouTube video on how to fix that).

This brings us to trains. I actually enjoy train travel. The rhythmic sound of the wheels on the tracks is relaxing, and it’s never boring. People watching is part of any trip, along with the sudden appearance of a another train traveling in the opposite direction out the windows, from what seems inches, breaks up the monotony. But I can read, play games on my phone, or just nap, without having to worry about steering, braking, or if Elon Musk’s self-driving software is going to kill me.

I have taken the train from Greensburg and Latrobe in PA to Philadelphia and New York, and would like to try Chicago next. We’ll see!

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

One thought on “Cross-Country

  1. I think commercial planes are fine if you’re just looking to get somewhere. If you want to see things, I vote for the car or the train.


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