I woke early this morning, excited and keen to get going. Quickly out of bed and into the shower then downstairs for breakfast and meditation. Today I am doing something I have not done in some time; I’m doing a short train journey.
The sun is coming up and peering through a slight haze, the countryside a mixture of green and brown. The gentle rocking and swaying of the train is quite relaxing. My mind wanders back to the days of my youth.
I have spent many hours travelling to and from school on trains in my teenage years. The five hours between my home town and the city are some of the most pleasant times of my life; just the right number of people and still the room to be able to escape to my own space. My memory tells me the trains were long and sleek. The trains, the Souther Aroura and the Spirit of Progress, I remember were elegant and comfortable. Being able to go to the dining car and sit and have dinner or tea was a delight. It was here that I learnt the art of people watching, something I still enjoy to this day.
Today the train is about half full, I expect the train will be full by the time we get to Sydney. The young lad sitting next to me has discovered that the internet connection in some parts of rural Australia will not allow him to play games on his largish gaming laptop. So he has opened up some documents and is typing up some things to tell his players. He is a coach for a roller derby team. Maybe he isn’t as young as he looks.
Across the aisle is an older couple. Well older than me; I would guess in their early 70s. He has just nodded off to sleep after battling with some sudoku puzzles. He does the difficult level without using pencil marks #SudokuGoals. I still need pencil marks. She has opened a great tome and has been reading quietly. I cannot see what the title of the book is but there loos to be about 800-900 pages.
There is a young man diagonally opposite. He is catching up on work. The laptop is out with many spreadsheets open. His briefcase is open on the spare seat next to him.
I have always found train travel to be far more comfortable than bus or plane travel and wonder why I don’t do this more often. During most of my adult life I have been in a rush to get places. My goal this year is to slow down and enjoy being me more. It may take 4 and a bit hours on the train today instead of the 50 minutes if I caught the plane but I think/hope I will get time to reflect and just enjoy this time of quiet.
My original plans for when I am in Sydney was to immerse myself into the throngs to find some alone time. This sounds crazy but being in a crowd of strangers can be quite energizing. It can, like it has been for me, quite daunting and exhausting. But as part of dealing with my high social anxiety is to train myself to be around crowds of people. There are two places I do that, Melbourne and Sydney. I haven’t been to Sydney on my own for a long while so here I am on my way to a city I used to live in.
Time to sit back and enjoy the journey.
A man on a journey