Before I head off to a foreign country for a few years, I want to maximize my time traveling. Flying from my home town of Minneapolis, MN, by flight it will take 24+ hours to get to Asia, why not use that time to see some of the great US before I leave. Instead of flying the entire way, I am looking into taking the train.
Train travel is not very common here in the US, at least not here in the Midwest. We just don’t have a very good infrastructure for it. While flying turns out to be cheaper, taking the train I get to see parts of the country I have not been to before. One possible down side to the train is that all of the sleeper cars are booked for the date range I want to go, so it will be a coach seat. Sleepers are much more expensive anyways. After thinking about it I think I will enjoy it. One part of traveling I always loved was sitting watching the passing landscape, listening to my tunes, pondering life’s great mysteries… I could do that all day and not get bored. So, here are my options I’m considering:
Hitch ride from friends to Chicago (where I will have my good-bye bash)
Train from Chicago to SF
Spend a few days in SF (meeting my brother there).
Train from SF to Vancouver, BC and explore Victoria Island and the surrounding area before flying out
Take the train from Chicago to San Antonio or Dallas, where I will spend a few days with my BFF (if she will be around, have yet to confirm)
From San Antonio/Dallas, take the train to San Francisco, my brother will meet me there.
Then we can head north, dropping my brother off in Portland, I will continue on to Vancouver, BC to fly out.
*use a Rail pass for 15 day and 8 segments
Fly out to San Francisco meeting my brother
Take the train to Vancouver, BC.
Fly or take the train straight to Vancouver, BC, explore that region then fly out.
and probably the most likely.
Road trip with friends to Chicago. Get a US Rail Pass from Amtrak. Taking the train from Chicago to Flagstaff to see the Grand Canyon. Train to San Francisco, then up to Portland where I spend a night, and head to Vancouver, BC. Spend a few days exploring Vancouver and Victoria Island before flying out to Manila. (See the purdy map below.) This is the most expensive option, but it also lets me see part of the country that I have not before. I don’t have a lot of places in the US that I want to see, but San Francisco and The Grand Canyon are two of them I do.
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View US part of RTW in a larger map