Travelling by train is my favourite method of transport.
Unless it’s busy of course, then there’s nothing worse than being crammed into a sweaty steel tube and having someone, or several someones, hanging over you, wobbling into you every few minutes whilst you duck your head guiltily for actually daring to have a seat.
But that’s rush hour.
On a regular journey, train travel is amazing. I love nothing more than putting my headphones in and gazing out of the window as the scenery flashes past. It’s my best thinking time. Somehow between the music and the aimless thoughts, I become detached from myself and settle into my emotional core, where I feel most alive with possibility and creative inspirations.
A bit cheesy maybe, but it’s the most intense, perfect feeling. I’d travel by train every day to experience that purity of thought.
The other thing that I notice more keenly on trains is the way I wonder about other people’s lives. I see a car driving up a lonely country road and think: “I wonder who’s driving that car? Where they’re going? Who they are?”
I fly through a town and imagine what it might be like to live there, where I would work and who I might meet.
I have a vivid memory of coming home from university one night on the train and catching a glimpse of a wedding dress hanging over the back of a door in some random person’s bedroom and wondering what their story was.
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love projecting my imagination on to the tiniest aspect of other people’s lives. In a way, it’s better not to know too much, because that person could be anyone, do anything. They aren’t just the Average Joe from next door who works in the Post Office and has two kids; they become a jet-setting executive, or a kooky artist or someone who once danced naked at a Rolling Stones concert. They are the source of that character who fills my mind and won’t let me sleep at night.
Having this blog gets me wondering too. I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to my site stats and analytics, and every time I check and see that someone has actually read something I’ve written it thrills me. I wonder who you all are, and why you might be interested in me and my ramblings. I look at Google Analytics and see the towns where my visitors live and it fascinates me.
So thanks to all those who are reading this, you’re part of the inspiration too!