While planning the trip from one end of USA to the other, she was not sure of what to expect and what to hope for. There would be adventure, she was sure of that. But what else? Once the trip began, she realised that the real adventure lay in the everyday. Waking up in a new place, figuring out the train station, getting there, boarding the train, understanding a new accent – basically, the entire gamut of reaching a new town, a new city everyday and making it your own by nightfall. That is what the real adventure was.
For her, this included figuring out the locals, being able to tell them apart from the tourists and first generation dwellers who made up so much of America’s suburbs. So who came first – the immigrants or the suburban way of life? But she did not merely confine herself to these mundane adventures. For her, travel meant much more. It also meant travelling to the big city with its bright lights and staring into the eyes of the raging bull in the market district. It also meant seeing a quaint town and deciphering the way its slow pace had been built over generations.
America sped by the train as she watched, riveted. The sights consumed her and fed her, freeing her from hunger for anything else. Being able to appreciate the moment is what will make great memories later, she decided. And that is precisely what she did.