We’re Leaving! Traveling the States on the American Railways


We apologize for the interruption in the regularly scheduled programming of adventures from Latin America.  Instead, we’ll bring you up to speed on our current wanderlust-fueled mission.  After our trip had ended (yes, we are not currently in Colombia, just really far behind on creating, writing, and publishing this travel blog) we slipped back into the real world and took on work obligations in Boston.  Unsatisfied by all that comes with the chronic grind and pressures towards feeling successful in America, we realized that as much as we got to know and understand the countries we have already traveled through we didn’t really know much of America.  In Spanish there are 2 verbs that mean “to know”: saber and conocer.  The difference between the two, is that saber means to know information about something, while conocer is used to know something by actually being there and visiting.  So Elissa and I decided that we wanted to know America.  Entonces, vamos a conocer America mucho mas.


Elissa found out that Amtrak has a system set up that could allow you to ride the rails from the one side of the country to the other for a set price.  Very similar to the EuroRail Pass, you can choose 3 different options that will get you around at your convenience and whatever pace you decide to use.  There is a 15 day/8 segment option, a 30 day/12 segment option, and a 45 day/18 segment option to choose from.  The idea of getting up close and personal with places and scenery that would normally be viewed from the little round window 30,000 feet above acted like a magnet to our traveling souls.  And after spending up to 18 hours on cramped buses that had shocks and struts 10 years past their expiration dates, a train feels like an affordable luxury that we are eager to sink our teeth into.  Not only do you get to observe the a myriad of landscapes whizzing past your eyes like a timeless silent movie, you get to travel in one of the greenest forms of mass public transportation our planet has to offer at the moment.  +1 for our earth.

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Our alarm went off at 4:45AM today, and we are parting with Boston, our home, our work, our vehicles, and every other modern day complication to set forth on another adventure of experiencing America on one of the foundations it built itself upon.  We need to saddle up at the bar and enjoy a tall glass of wanderlust ale before more time marches on.  The American Railway gives you tons of options to cover a lot of ground with a trusty backpack and miles of steel beams zippered to the earth.  So for now there might be a brief pause in our Colombian adventures, but there will be more to come.

11 thoughts on “We’re Leaving! Traveling the States on the American Railways

  1. I hope you enjoy your trip! I would recommend the California Zephyr route. You see the landscape shift from flat plains to the Rockies and again from Nevada desert to the Sierra Nevadas. It gets you up close to the Colorado River, many breathtaking and historic sites. The LA-Seattle route is more than worth it. In Southern California, the tracks are feet from the ocean all the way up to Salinas. Anyway, have fun getting to know your home!

  2. Dan and Elissa, This sounds like a fantastic trip. Like you, we spend time traveling and living abroad for long periods, then come back to the States for a while. Choosing the Amtrak option is so perfect. We’ve done several sections of their routes – the LA to Seattle is particularly spectacular – and plan to do more. Can’t wait to follow your trip. All the best, Terri

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