She travels by train: VIA Rail, thoughts from aboard / by Jessica Lee

I got on a train full of students yesterday. It’s been absolutely crazy.

I’ve been on this train for a full day and have two more days to go and I’m not quite sure I’m going to survive. The students are loud, I haven’t had much sleep and I may be catching a cold from being around so many different people. My biggest regret is not bringing a pair of pants or a thicker blanket. I always overestimate the Canadian climate and the air conditioning of trains.

We’re slowly traveling across Canada. I got on in Toronto and am going to Edmonton, Alberta where I will be following around some forest wardens for work.

I blogged about traveling through Canada by Greyhound a few months back when I went to Saskatoon, and being on this train is a reminder of how big Canada really is. We haven’t even reached Manitoba yet after a full day. This train is like being in limbo or in prison. I can’t leave because I need to get to Edmonton, but at the same time, it’s a nice escape from email and other demands of every day life.

I do hate not being able to communicate with the outside world though. There hasn’t been reception since early this morning and we haven’t had wifi since ever.

I don’t know how I feel about Edmonton. I have half a mind to get off the train in Saskatoon and finish where I left off there. But of course almost everyone I knew from there has gone back to their original homes so things would be different even if I did stop off there. The familiarity of walking across University bridge would be nice though. We used to go to movies late at night and would walk back across the Saskatchewan river in the dark and the stillness of a small town was amazing.

We’ve been passing through a lot of forest in Ontario and it’s mind-blowing to just think about all the different places I haven’t explored in my home country. It would be fun to go camping in a different spot every weekend as opposed to visiting familiar hiking trails every now and then no?

There are also a million other things I would like to do and go see, so of course this is just a dream. Life is only so short, so you have to pick and choose your experiences. And I’d rather have quality than quantity.

Can't wait to get to my destination!