I had a bit of an adventure today – two train rides and one dash through Manhattan via the subway. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some ways that I streamline these kinds of big travel days.
Travel Tip #1: The Train is Awesome.
I love the train – it beats riding on the bus every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Some of the views between the city and upstate are simply fantastic. The train rocks my world for so many reasons, including:
- The train is much more time efficient than the bus
- I can actually work or read without getting motion sickness
- The chance of getting stuck in traffic in minimal
- There’s no risk of crazy drivers.
Instead of dealing with all that, I’m can sit back and do a bit of writing while sipping on hot tea.
Travel Tip #2: A thermos makes a trip ten times more enjoyable.
The train is far less stressful than other kinds of travel (except for maybe riding a bike). Airplanes are much more time efficient but the altitude swings are pretty tough on the body. As for boats… despite growing up on the coast of Maine I’m not a huge fan of boats. To each their own, but the train is the best form of Taoist travel that I’ve found so far.
I call it Taoist travel because Taoism teaches us to move through life much like moving with the current of a river. This doesn’t mean living in complete submission to whatever happens to you – it’s about learning how to engage skillfully and navigate life more effectively.
One example of Taoist travel is to avoid wasting energy by fighting unnecessary battles (this includes dealings with unsavory people). You can see this principle in nature, where animals instinctively know to conserve their energy by traveling the paths of least resistance.
Travel Tip #3: When it comes to stuff, less is always more.
What would you pack for a two month trip? I pretty much live this way. Schlepping my gypsy carriage (which consists of a roller suitcase, backpack, cooler bag and yoga mat) has taught me that as little stuff as I think I might have it’s always too much. Try lugging a suitcase up two flights of stairs in a busy subway station and you’ll know what I mean.
Travel Tip #4: Escalators and elevators are like gold.
As much as possible, try to save yourself from unnecessary strain. Take the escalator or elevator whenever possible. A little hard schlepping never hurt anyone (it probably builds character) but try to balance the effects by switching your carrying arm regularly.
Travel Tip #5: Take your time.
There’s no need to rush. Give yourself plenty of time to figure out where you’re going, to eat slowly, and to find your connections, gates or exits. When you’re able to enjoy the journey your mood improves. You might even find yourself smiling at strangers.
Do you have any Taoist Traveler’s Tips to share? Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.
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