Throwback Thursday: My First Solo Trip

I was looking through old trip photos this morning, trying to think of what I can share for this week’s Throwback Thursday, when I suddenly realized that exactly one year ago today I was on a cross-country train heading to Vancouver.

I was on the very trip that inspired this blog — the same trip that not only gave me a new lease on life but also resulted in some amazing friendships, inspired writing, and even a soon-to-be-published story.

I’m actually quite emotional right now, reminiscing about that journey. I’m in disbelief that it’s already been an entire year since I boarded that train, and I’m proud of myself for how much I’ve grown since then. I keep on getting flashbacks of the trip — from the smell of the train, to the sway of the car, to the scenery whirring by and the anticipation I felt as we passed each new town, nearing our final destination.

I can remember how I immediately felt at home as soon as I stepped foot in Vancouver; how accomplished I had felt in completing a four-day train ride, all by myself (in economy, no less); how scared yet alive I felt, accepting the fact that yes, my marriage failed, but no, I was not a failure.

I would not be the person I am today if it were not for that trip. I can bet my life on this. And as stinky and cramped as that economy train car was, it was my catalyst; it was my therapy.

I wanted to share one of the first posts I wrote while on the train. I read it over again and I was immediately thrust back to the exact moment that it was written. I can even recall what shirt I was wearing. I remember feeling a calmness come over me as I wrote it; a sense of peace. As I write this I’m actually envisioning myself back in my train seat. I’m looking out the window at Northern Ontario, listening to my music, trying to capture the moment in words so I could share it all with you. And once again, I am at peace.

If you’d like to read my other posts about my cross-country train ride onboard VIA Rail’s The Canadian, you can check them out here.

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