A colleague recently commented that she believes the reason I’m so chilled at work and just take things in my stride is because I travel by public transport and therefore don’t have the stress of driving on the motorways etc. I’m not sure that’s the whole picture, but I do enjoy train travel.
Yes, a car may be faster but I’m not so sure that it would be better. For my whole working life I have always relied on public transport so I’m unable to draw a real comparison, but I like my train journey – I like the fact that the journey is long enough to benefit from the time on the train.
I suspect for most people, trains are simply a means of getting from A to B and they don’t take the time to relax and enjoy the journey. Looking around as I get on my morning train, I see many people working, reading or scrolling through social media etc. I’m not saying I don’t do these things, but I have my own daily rituals. When I alight the bus I head to a local Caffe Nero for coffee and breakfast (raspberry Greek yoghurt and a pastry), wander up to the train station and get myself settled on the train. Taking time to enjoy my breakfast and once we leave Glasgow its nice to sit and enjoy the view – speeding through the countryside – the Campsies, the Ochils until I reach my destination.
I love travelling on trains – whether that’s for work (my daily commute) or further afield – to travel, day trips, holidays etc. To me, especially if its a day out or going on holiday, its the start of the whole experience and should be savoured. It’s not just a means to an end. I get to see different landscapes, towns and cities etc that I might like to visit. Planning where I go next.
One thing that really gets me excited is travelling on the East Coast Mainline that runs from Edinburgh to London. What love is the opportunity to see the sea. I feel energised by the sea and really miss that, living in the city.
Trains do have their drawbacks too, delays, currently disrupted by national and local industrial action, but I would still choose the train for the opportunity to relax and enjoy the journey.
Generally speaking I don’t find train travel stressful. If something happens and I’m delayed, there is not much I can do so I might as well sit back and relax. I compare my daily commute with that of my colleagues in cars. They always arrive at work stressed … bad and angry drivers … delays … accidents … roadworks etc. I also find that if the weather disrupts my train, my colleagues are faring worse by car.
I remember a couple of weeks ago trains were disrupted by the weather – delays, cancellations. I got to the station, feeling harassed (I was soaked through) and everyone seemed stressed – I decided on a coffee and a seat, review the situation, see which trains are running and select my preferred train home. I guess its not just the trains that make me less stressed, I wanted a stress-free train for my journey. I enjoy train travel, so I chose the least stressful option.
My train journey allows me to use the time to transition between worklife and homelife; to unwind and de-stress. I know on the days I work from home that is very hard to achieve. Train commuting is certainly working for me.
What about you? What are your experiences of train travel?