While in Vietnam, I took a train up the coast from Da Nang to Dong Hoi. The six hour train ride was a slow way to travel, even in a sleeper car for the return journey from caving in Phong Nha, but thinking back I’m reminded of what trains actually stand for.
These locomotives have always fascinated me, and yet they are still my least used form of transportation. For the longest time, every December my uncle would set up a massively elaborate townscape in which multiple trains ran around and through. Now I’m not talking about those plastic toys you get from target or wherever, I’m talking about those heavy, die-caste trains running on electric tracks. You know, the kind that as a kid you were told “don’t touch!” out of fear of electrocution or a train replacement tax on your allowance for years to come. Just watching the set work though, weaving in and out of the buildings of the town and between other trains, tracks shifting to alter the routes, was mesmerizing. Something about the way it all worked. His father, my grandfather, used to work on and operate steam engines - basically old-school coal or wood powered trains that instead of running on tracks had giant tractor-like wheels and could run on land. These behemoths moved as slow as molasses yet they too were awe inspiring. Every piece of the complex machinery all working together to move forward.
As antiquated technology they may be, they still remind me of the time it takes to make things happen in life. Every part of the machinery working in harmony to propel its passengers onto their future destinations, following the path laid before it. Steady, paced, and deliberate, they continue onward despite even mountains that may get in their way, all while allowing the passenger to enjoy the journey there. In today’s world of instant gratification, how wonderful it can be to take your time goes on unknown by so many.
Looking back to this photo, I’m reminded that happiness is in the pursuit, and the best parts of life take time to reveal themselves.
There's no better way to immerse yourself in the Amalfi Coast than on foot. Trace the shoreline by way of Praiano, through the cobbled alleys of Positano and onto the bustle of Sorrento – not forgetting to stop at the odd cliffside taverna and isolated cove for a dip along the way.
We've navigated the best routes from Italy and Spain to Peru and Australia. Whether you're in the market for a self-guided ramble, a cramp-inducing trek or a spiritual group pilgrimage, there's something for you through the link in bio.