joy magnetism: "America was never a travel destination for us"

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Monday, September 20, 2010

"America was never a travel destination for us"

Magnet #941 - Australian koala

My friend brought this koala bear back for me from her trip down unda. Figured it works for today, being as there's an Australian couple sitting across the aisle from me on my Amtrak train ride down to NC.

I take this train pretty regularly, but this morning, for some reason, I figured I better double-check the departure time - I couldn't remember if it was 7 or 7:15. Either way would have meant leaving the house at 6, getting ready (and packing, of course) at 5.

But what ensued was 35 fresh minutes of hell, when in the quiet of the room, I yelled out, When the hell did the Carolinian start running at 6:15!!?

So as I was repacking my bags that I threw everything into, this lovely Australian couple asked me if I take this train regularly, and which side did I recommend. I told them both sides. I went further and told them I loved this train route, taking this mode of transpo more than I'd ever take the plane, and I warned them that it was a lonnnnng train ride.

Some 12 hours later, with our final destinations still hours away, we're just now pulling out of Rocky Mount, and the Australian couple with the cool Ozzie accents are like, I can't believe you like this way of traveling!

Eh, of course I still do! You just gotta roll with it, even as you're stuck on a hot train, listening to several different conversations about kids and grandkids, and cell phone conversations that loudly start with, "I'm stuck! In Rocky Top! Rocky Mountain? Rockyyyy Mount."

There's a woman from Solvang - hey! I've been there! It's a little Danish community with a windwill over a bakery in California. There's the 91-year-old hub with his young 88-year-old wife who (while they're still young) have finally decided to pack up the house and sell it and move to be close to the kids. There's the loud woman in the back having a conversation with the loud woman up front who takes this train all the time and has never been stuck for this long!

But, it's the Oz Couple who fascinate me. They take a good 3-month break every year to come visit their daughter and grandkids in the States, and for the past few years, they've managed to rack up visits to about 40 US states.

They're doing better than most Americans!

And this is coming from the couple who declared, Oh, America was never a travel destination for us, and yet, here we are.

Stuck on Big Rock Candy Mountain.
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