This sat in my draft since forever, written in summer 2013:
Sometime I think, this is what I miss: single female traveler on long-distance rides on trains and buses.
It’s the only time that I’ll ever agree to a window seat, preferring it over the aisle (never the case for long-distance flights!) and will pull the curtain away, allowing sunlight and the great world to breeze past my visions and senses.
It’s a great feeling.
I’ve a fascination for trains in particular, and rides in them; there’s something artistic about the entire process – the chugging, sometimes a honk will blow, the beauty of the tracks that seem to go on for eternity, the hustle of passengers and that ragged feel of the train cruising along its tracks.
I love it.
These days I imagine traversing the world, desperate to get out of this place that feels like the middle of nowhere. Sometimes I make my way to the train station, just because. I would stand to one side, observe the crowd and wait with them for the loud chugging noise of the Caltrain, slow but steady. The rushed hustle and bustle of passengers getting on and off the train, but I am not one of them.
What is it that I miss? Is it the freedom of the mind to wander beyond familiar territories? Is it the freedom of the physical, that pressing desire to mark clear, well-defined boundary lines between school and entire lives beyond it? Is it the thirst of a seasoned traveler, or the pomposity of one who’s glimpsed her fair share? Is freedom defined by the act of running far and away, or the acceptance of a place as home? Is freedom a concept, or a belief?
I don’t know what it is I wish to run away from: myself or this place?
Why is it so hard to feel happy, sincerely and without reservation, being here?
Sometimes I make my way to the train station and watch trains pass me by wishing I’m a passenger on board, destination happiness.
It is not here and for the life of me, I just don’t know why.