As restricting as this may seem in the boundless modern world, the bonus is that I love to the point of obsession travelling by train. Nothing can beat the feeling of expectation, adventure and possibility in looking at the destinations board. Trains augment travel, by making the getting there part of the reason for a trip to your destination. By cutting out one of my flights whilst in India, my journey from Delhi to the foothills of the Himalayas remains the highlights of trip.
Trains are the way to see a long of a country very quickly, to meet and possibly be alarmed by local travellers and to arrive sometimes in the most surprising amount of style right unto the heart of your destination.
Coming from a country where the heart of the rail system was ripped out in the 60s by an over zealous government advisor, and later in the 80's by the Thatcherite regime, it constantly amazes me whilst abroad to be able to reach B from A with a minimal amount of fuss and remaining cash.
I am currently exploring the wilder parts of scotland, mainly by train and helpful lovely people with cars. I've had a great London to Glasgow traffic-avoiding stint, an early morning ascent through the highlands to Fort William on what has to be THE best commuter journey in the uk, and am currently making my way to the very top of the mainland, having a wonderful meander through beautiful empty countryside. A ferry ticket, a tent and a bus timetable open up the orkneys to me, and I am supremely happy.
Being Good Friday, the train is full of happy families eating a fair amount of chocolate, and I have maps, binoculars and a cup of tea spread in front of me. Try THAT whist driving, or even on a plane.
And all for the price of two tanks of fuel. I'm all for not flying, me