Tag Archives: east coast

Travel on the Write Track

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When I packed my bags and moved to Chicago, I arrived by train. And ever since that May day in 2009, I find myself taking the train quite often. While the CHI—STL length isn’t nearly as glamorous as travel up on the East or West Coasts, there’s still something comforting in the travel. Train travel seems timeless to me, classic. I love finding myself in Union Station and knowing the rush of traveling and the look of the building were what people many, many years ago experienced.

So imagine my excitement when I came across Amtrak Residency. There’s a ton of press going on about the program, though here’s the gist: Reporters tweeted at Amtrak how cool this would be. Amtrak agreed, and made said writers take a train ride. And now, the Residency is open to writers of all levels for various lengths of time.

What I really love about this whole initiative (despite the fact it’s right up my alley) is it came about from one writer just tweeting about a love for writing on trains. Amtrak listened and decided there was something powerful there. As more brands continue to use their consumer base for more than just customers, I’m excited for more things such as this to come to fruition.

As this weekend is another family wedding, I’ll be taking that well-traveled CHI–STL train ride. And I’m excited to sit there, put in the headphones and just start writing.

To see the power and beauty of train travel on the Coast, visit my gal pal Leela’s blog. Last month she spent 36 hours on a train from California to Seattle (now she’s moving all throughout Europe).

“At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves — that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves.” — Alain de Botton, “The Art of Travel.”

 

Coastal Love

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This past summer, Amanda and I had one hell of a time touring the East coast and now, thanks to Sandy, those are very distant memories as we look at the photos of destruction. Thankfully, the friends we made along the way, and ones we already knew, are all safe and sound. But seeing those images of deserted bridges, tunnels, roadways and water rushing through the Subway turnstile like it’s the Titanic is extremely eerie. Warm (and dry!) wishes to all those dealing with the aftermath.

Going Coastal

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The silence is over, sort of. My apologies for not writing nearly as much as I should have been…the month of July just got lost beyond me. And I’ve returned from my coastal adventure to the East where my friend and I attended a few concerts and slept on a pirate ship. It was to say the least, amazing.

But instead of rehashing a vacation, I want to talk about something else, friendship. Amanda and I affirmed a friendship a year ago when we went on vacation to Colorado. Since that last summer, we’ve logged four other trips and most recently, this eastern adventure. I could not imagine a better travel companion to navigate a city alongside.

My true aha! moment of man, life is good, came while we were in New York. We made our way down to NYC to catch The Lumineers and Old Crow Medicine Show in Central Park and decided to hit up our New York friends for couches to crash on. Most of the “closer” friends were traveling, so we were coming up empty-handed. Then I reached out to Christin, a girl I studied abroad with in Ireland and hadn’t seen since we left the Emerald Isle. And to be fair, we hadn’t really talked much. But she insisted we come and crash with her.

The minute we walked in to Christin’s place, it was like we were back in Ireland. As we readied ourselves and wandered the city, we managed to find a bar with a vacant rooftop where we spent the afternoon catching up on life. It was just perfection and as if this was an everyday thing we did. When we got to the show, I was so overcome with joy that I nearly started crying. It was just so moving to know that there are people in this world that vouch for you and want to spend time with you, no matter how much time has passed.

I have many friends like this in Chicago, but I’ve certainly taken them for granted over the years…just assuming they’re always there. But upon our return to Sweet Home Chicago, I realized how truly lucky I am to live in a city I love, surrounded by water and people that I cannot help but have on fantastic time.

It might have taken all of July for me to realize this, as well as a northeastern adventure, but I’m going in to my 27th year with a much better grasp on life. And I for one, I am eager to see what awaits next.

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And here’s the lastest Mumford & Son’s song (saw them in Maine last week), which I think is so very fitting: