There is no excuse for not going out to travel the world
Photo credit: Ralf Weiser
Well, even if it is not the world that you want to see, at least get out of your state. Still not comfortable with that? Can you make this getting out of your home county? Pretty please? Traveling places and getting out of your comfort zone has so many mutual benefits. It helps you relax and see how other people do some of the same stuff you are doing – just differently. It helps benefit tolerance and back at home and work it creates a sense of appreciation of what you do.
Many a times I hear that people do not set their sails because they are afraid of not knowing how they should prepare for being on the road. In essence they are afraid that they are getting lost and that they would rather travel when they are much older so that they can take guided tours. Huh? What on Earth are they really afraid of?
I could perhaps understand when people are apprehensive of traveling overseas. Not being able to understand another language can be difficult, I give you that. One thing that we humans do well though is recognizing patterns and using visual and any or all of our senses. Here is a recent example of using the railroad in Germany. Even if you do not speak or read one word of German you can still figure out which train, car, and seat you have.
This first picture shows the reservation. It gives you the train number ICE842 (Inter City Express) and the time it is scheduled to depart at Berlin at 19.49 (that is 7.49pm for us). Gleis means track and here it is number 4. All it takes is asking someone from the helpful and countless railroad folks at the station and you will get to what you need to know. This also says something about a Reservierung. I had reserved two second class seats (the web site www,db.de also fully supports English). So 2 Pl are my 2 seats in Wg for wagon or car 22 and sitting in 25 and 27.
So once you reach track 4 you will see huge announcement boards like this one. You recognize the train number and departure time. Notice the letters A through G? Those are the zones in which the track is divided. You cannot miss the huge letter signs along the track. The little symbol below the letters represents the train and where it will come to a stop. The knife and fork symbol stands for the restaurant car and the 1s and 2s stand for first and second class cars. Now I know that I had better queue up in either zone F or G.
As the train pulls in each car features a sign on its side that shows the train number ICE842 and to its right is the car number. Here it is 23 and so I had to go back one more car. This also shows the place the train starts from, the stops it will make, and also the final destination.
Getting into the car now I start looking for the seat numbers right over top the seats near the luggage rack. That is kind of like getting on to a plane. The neat thing here is that you can tell if the seats are reserved when the signs like this photo show are lit up indicating starting and ending destination. Any seats not occupied are on a first come first taken basis. Once the conductor checks your tickets (Deutsche Bahn even has an awesome App for this) and you are getting close to the final destination the signs disappear magically.
There is even free Wifi on the train and most of the time you will be zooming through the super nice country side with more than 120mph. ICE trains make very few stops and with the proper discount cards renting and driving a car is not worth it from a time and monetary point of view. Sure, there are a few moments when I initially did not know exactly what to do. I will never forget the disbelieving look from a fellow travel when he had to explain how the seat reservation sign worked in the car. Those moments come and go. They can and should not prevent you from going on the road. There is not even a language barrier when you travel into another county or state (well, there may be another dialect). Look for the patterns that emerge and make sure you travel your heart out.