Trains, Planes, or Automobiles?



My Volt usually gets me where I need to go!

This week, one of the foxes asked us about our preferred method of travel. For me, it depends on how far I’m going. I love my little electric car for getting around town, and in the past six months I’ve driven up to three hours at a time for writing weekends, scrapbooking weekends, music festivals, and to family functions. I don’t mind driving, but if I’m going anywhere outside the Great Lakes area, I’d prefer to let someone else get me there.

I suppose part of it is that I’m getting older and it’s getting more difficult for me to sit for extended periods of time. When I do, it takes a major effort to get back up. Being in the driver’s seat means I have to stay in one spot, with my attention on the road. But even if I’m in the passenger’s seat I can turn around to get things from the back seat, or talk to other people in the car. I can knit or play a game of Sudoku. Reading and writing are difficult for me while in a car, but I can brainstorm story ideas if there’s someone else to talk to and if a great idea comes forth I can write it down. But alas when I’m in a car, I’m almost always alone, so I have to concentrate on driving.

When my destination is more than a three-hour drive, I look for alternate ways to get there. Flying is nice, but expensive. I save that for when I need to pass through more than a couple of states, like visiting my brother in North Carolina, my cousin in California, or my relatives in Japan. For the in-between trips I’ve found that riding the train is a pleasant experience.

35986234 - young woman reading a magazine while riding the train

Photo from

A few years ago I went to a college music department reunion in Central Illinois. I could have driven five hours, but since I had time to spare I decided to check on public transportation. I got on the train near my daughter’s house and took a leisurely ride to Chicago. I took my iPad with me and read a book on the way. I’d contacted my niece a few days before, and she met me at the station to spend time with me during my three hour layover. We walked a few blocks to a great restaurant and caught up on news. Then she went back to work and I caught another train to Bloomington, IL, during which time I read another book. On the way back home I read another two books and had lunch with my college roommate in Chicago.

During my college years I drove that route many times, but this time I enjoyed having the luxury of letting someone else get me there while I enjoyed several hours of uninterrupted reading. One of my college friends lives in Delaware, and a few of us are talking about taking a train trip to New England to visit her. I imagine the trip will be fun – we’ll be able to chat and enjoy each other instead of worrying about where to turn, or think about road conditions or any of the other things drivers have to concern themselves with.

How do you like to travel?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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5 Responses to Trains, Planes, or Automobiles?

  1. jeff7salter says:

    that train trip sounds very relaxing — and a great way to get somewhere.
    Bonus = all those books you got to read.
    Myself… I’m too easily distracted by others around me (whether their movement or noise) so I can’t usually read anything longer than short articles such as Reader’s Digest might have (if I’m traveling).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your leisurely train trip sounds wonderful. I have never traveled by train but have always wanted to do so.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      If your destination is on a train route, it’s certainly an easy way to travel! Of course, you end up not having a vehicle when you get there, but it’s nice not having to deal with the driving.


  3. You have an electric car! LOVE IT! I wil have to give it some thought, although I have never traveled on a train.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      The Volt is a great vehicle for me. I’m on the go a lot, but most of the time I don’t go more than 35 to 40 miles at a time – which is the reach of the battery. It has a gas tank for when the battery runs out, but most of the time I fill the ten-gallon tank once every six to eight weeks.


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