September 03, 2006

More train thoughts

Sunday night, and I'm at the end of my first week. I've started thinking about why exactly I'm doing this (yes, I'm overanalyzing). Why am I travelling through a country that I don't understand, where they don't understand me, while holidays are supposed to be relaxing?

Is this trip relaxing?

I'm writing again from a train. This seems to give me the best opportunity for actually chilling and sort of reflecting on what I'm doing. And that while I'm stuck in a hard seater carriage and have at least eight more hours through the night ahead of me (heading towards Lanzhou).

Before I got on, I was determined to fix an upgrade to a sleeper compartment. Hard seat seemed too much to comfortably handle. I haven't even bothered. This carriage is total chaos, and just for one night I think I can stick it out and just take in whatever's happening around me.

It's already had one good side-effect: I've gotten help figuring out the next train on Wednesday night. But still, is this trip relaxing?

It's an escape, it's overwhelming, it's forcing me to step out of my comfort zone, it's intense, but am not sure if it's relaxing.

Then again, I don't really think I was looking for that. If anything I needed to get out - even if only temporarily - and the more I think about it, maybe I needed some reassurance or a self-esteem boost. And if I pull off this trip (and really, three weeks is nothing!) I might just have that confidence back again to make all those long-awaited changes happen when I get back.

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