A Well-Trained Traveler

Brienne Welton, Travel writer

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Two years ago I was given the opportunity to go on a Business/Tourism trip to San Francisco with students in grades eleven and twelve for five days in April. This year, I was able to take the same trip again from the 21st to the 26th of April and enjoyed it even more than I did in grade ten. Prior to this year’s trip I had a fairly clear idea of how our schedule would be; Mr. Kletke, who has been in charge of organizing the Business/Tourism trip every year, incorporated most of the same activities from the first trip into our itinerary for this year. During my second trip I noticed many things that I had missed during the first trip, the most notable of which was the effect that our 23 hour train ride from Seattle to San Francisco had on the students.

Having experienced two 23 hour train rides in my life, I strongly recommend it as a mode of transport for those who are not in a hurry and wish to see more of the country in which they are traveling. Traveling by train gives passengers the option of walking around between cars throughout the journey and getting off the train during brief stops at various stations along the route. However, after a few hours of travel, the effects of the confined space became apparent in my peers and their antics. Many of the students were unaware of the absence of Wi-Fi on the train, and were therefore unprepared for 23 hours of card games and endless talking. Though most of my peers became restless, overtired and downright strange after 7 hours on the train, I believe that this method of travel was a positive experience for everyone. Besides the obvious benefit of exposure to scenery which is impossible to be seen by car, taking the train forced the students on the trip to actually interact with one another and exercise their creative ingenuity when trying to find means of entertainment. I became very close with many people on the trip simply because our travel time enabled us to forget about Facebook and have a meaningful conversation. Taking the train made me realize that we spend so much time worrying about what’s going on in famous peoples’ lives or something happening across the globe that we forget about the amazing, ordinary people right in front of us.

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