Life is a Train Ride

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Life is a Journey – a rollercoaster ride from birth to death, from the cradle to the grave; this is the reality of our human experience. 

– Janet Groom

For some, that journey is relatively straightforward, as they meander along in a cocoon of contentment; for others it is a hectic and chaotic ride, bouncing from one drama to the next, interlaced with a few stolen moments of tranquillity. Most of us are somewhere in-between with periods of calm sailing, interspersed with jolts of stormy seas, with occasional frantic bursts of swimming against the current trying to get back to a safe harbour we have long left behind.

Oh, yes, life is a journey, and I was reminded this as I rode the train today, and it struck me how a simple train ride is comparable with life’s journey.

OK, here I go trying to capture in words my thoughts and insights, based on my experience and observations.

Where do you get onboard?

I boarded the train at my start station, and how did I know where to start? Well, it was a case of choosing the nearest train station to my home. Simple and easy — it didn’t take any significant consideration. And this is like birth; we are born. Do we choose the ‘station’ where we are born? Some would say that we do, or perhaps we jump on at the nearest station to our home without too much thought.

Now, I should, of course, mention that which train you alight depends on where you want to go. Most of us have in mind a destianation of where we wish to travel to, that is not to say that some people just love jumping on a train without any plan and are quite happy to end up where they end up — the majority of us don’t, we need to know where we are going.

Where Do You Choose to Seat?

From my chosen seat, I watch the world go by as the train travels forward along the tracks towards my destination. I enjoy watching the world rush towards me with stunning views overlooking Lake Zurich (I admit I did choose to sit to the left, as I knew it had preferential views of the lake). It is an enjoyable and pleasurable experience and it makes me smile.

Now, as for my fellow passengers, I can only assume they had varying experiences — some watched the world fly by looking out the window on the other side of the carriage; others looked back at the views passing behind us, and those upstairs enjoy the advantage of a slightly higher elevation over the rooftops. And then there were a few passengers heads bent over their phones or buried in a book, oblivious to the scenes unfolding, lost in the depths of their own self-absorbed worlds.

As the train trundles along the tracks heading to a pre-defined destination, which helpfully is displayed on the noticeboard at the end of each carriage, we are notified of the stations along the way along with an announcement of the next upcoming scheduled to stop.

Do You Stay On or Get Off?

I watch as some people get off at these stations with a sense of purpose, while new passengers clamber aboard and take up residence in the recently vacated seats.

With interest, I realise that I could choose to alight at any of the stations along the way. It is within my control. However, I know where I wanted to go. I have already decided upon my end destination. I was clear on where I wanted to go and where my particular journey would end. Between watching the array of shops, houses, gardens and streets appear before me, I listened and as my journey neared it’s end, I was ready and had my belongings at hand when we pulled up and joined the myriad of travellers to getting off.

Life is like a Train Ride

Life is like my train journey, we get on the train of life and some of us where we are going, some go so far and change train, some have no clue and just stay onboard afraid to miss their stop, and others are free spirits getting on and off as they feel inclined to do so. Depending on where we wish to go some may chose the slower, scenic route and enjoy the luxury of the views along the way, while others may select the ultra-fast trains, with a view to get there as fast as they can.

Even choosing the same train journey, each person will have their own unique experience on-board. Everyone’s perspective will be different depending on their position and how engaged they are in looking out the window, watching the antics of other passengers, or burying their head in the distraction of their choosing.

As a writer, travelling, even a short train ride, can inspire my creative side. Sometimes, I watch the passing view, and other times I ‘people watch’ and occasionally I bury my head in a book or entertain myself with my iPhone.

Life is a Journey

Life is a journey, and we are all having a different experience as we are all unique and even on the same ‘train heading to the same destination’ — our choices and perspectives will ensure none of us has the identical ride, and that’s what makes life’s journey special.

There is no right or wrong journey, it is up to you and all you need to do is sit back and enjoy it. Some people will and some people won’t — it is up to you!

Relax and enjoy your life’s train ride, it can be a pretty amazing adventure if you allow it!