My Two Favorite Modes of Transportation While Traveling

Hectic train station in India

My Two Favorite Modes of Transportation While Traveling

For many travellers the process of getting from point A to B is cumbersome.  Maybe I have a few too many loose screws, but for me personally, it’s one of the true joys of travel.  I absolutely love being on the road and the physical act of moving from place to place is something I derive immense pleasure from.  Over the years I’ve discovered that I have certain fondness for certain modes of transportation over others.  The following are my favorite two ways of getting around:

A gorgeous sunset while traveling by train

Train

Traveling by train is hands down my favorite mode of transportation.  If I only had to pick one way to travel for the rest of my life (excluding everything else) I would immediately without the slightest sense of hesitation choose to travel by train.  All of my favorite journeys have been via rail.  No train journey has been as monumental as the one I took across India back in 2010.  The video below captures some of my favorite clips (including many high speed sequences) from my entire circuit, and to this day, remains one of the most popular youtube videos I’ve ever created:

When I’m travelling by train, my eyes are often glued to what is going on outside of the window.  On any given day, I might witness a magnificent sunrise; pass through a slum; get off at a local station to indulge my taste buds; or strike up conversation with a fellow passenger.  When I’m not looking out the window I’m often at my creative best – which often manifest itself in the form of the creation of blog posts, video and photo editing or total indulgence in a book I’m reading.  I love the constant steady motion of the train and the noise it creates rattling along the tracks.  While on board a train, it’s one of the few times I can actually get restful sleep.  When traveling by plane I rarely can doze off.  While on the train I can sleep through the night without any problems.  I just feel that relaxed and comfortable.

A family of four on a moped in Saigon, Vietnam

Moped

The freedom to roam around a city or countryside on my own terms is something I constantly crave.  Being at the mercy of bus schedules and routes, tuk-tuk and taxi drivers who aren’t always looking out for my best interests or physically walking from place to place can often cause a lot of physical and mental wear and tear over time.  Whenever possible I like to hop on a moped and scoot around town with no limitations   I find it exciting to weave in and out of traffic and maneuver my way through certain back-roads and alleys that are otherwise off-limits to larger vehicles.  One thing I’m extremely cautious about revolves around making sure I have excellent insurance, such as purchasing moped insurance from Swinton to cover all of my little jaunts around town.  One of my favorite places to ride a moped is in Saigon where chaos reigns supreme.

Although I often take planes and buses to get around they’re rarely my method of choice.  How about you?  I’d love to hear your favorite ways of getting around.

 

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Kenin Bassart February 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm

You’re not alone! We love the act of traveling as much as the destination. Heck, sometimes the trip is actually BETTER than the destination. While we do love a good train ride, for us, the ultimate mode of transport is the car.

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 2:51 am

I completely agree with you Ken! I haven’t traveled much by car. I can’t afford one yet ;)

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Kenin Bassart March 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Funny enough, we have only been on very short train rides. The US is terrible when it domes to passenger rail. I’ll make a deal wi you. If you are ever in my neck of the woods I’ll take you in all the driving trips you want, and if I’m ever near you we can take a train trip somewhere :-)

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Londoner Kate February 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I’ve seen you post that train clip before but never watched it. Wow dude, it’s amazing! I was transfixed. Gives you a real insight into life in India. I hope to get around on a moped when I travel, but Im definitely learning in England first before I take to the crazy roads of Asia!

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 2:54 am

Thanks Kate!

Taking the train in India was my highlight of my entire Asia trip back in 2011 :)

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Dariece - Goats On The Road February 28, 2013 at 1:55 am

Hey Sam,
Couldn’t agree more with your 2 choices of getting around! Train journeys are so comfortable. I love being able to walk around and stretch out my legs while meeting local people, it’s fantastic. Moped gives you so much freedom to go wherever, whenever, we always rent scooters/motorbikes and always love it!

Check out the many modes of transportation we’ve taken over the years…the good, the bad, and the very uncomfortable! http://goatsontheroad.com/modes-of-transportation-the-good-the-bad-the-very-uncomfortable/

Cheers!
Dariece

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:01 am

Woah, you guys have done it all!

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Victoria Nguyen February 28, 2013 at 4:16 am

Yes, I totally agree – I love the journey just as much as the destination. People often think about the time it takes to get somewhere as a deterrence, but I think of it as part of the fun of travel! I think my 2 favorite forms of transportation are definitely train and the second is harder to choose, but I’d say tuk tuk!

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Chris March 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

man mopeds scare the shit out of me – hated the one day I did in Thailand on them!

Personally I like boats, slow boats, long tails or ferries. Nothing better than relaxing on deck in the sun whilst travelling through the jungle or to a tropical island :)

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:51 am

Boats are the perfect mode to chillax!

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Nora - The Professional Hobo March 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Ditto! By far, my two resounding favourite modes of transportation are the train and the moped. I’ve done some pretty crazy train stunts (including the inaugural Ultimate Train Challenge in 2011).
And scooters/mopeds: love ‘em. I used to ride motorcycles in one of my “former lives” (pre-travel), and until recently – I owned a scooter in Grenada.
http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/01/unique-transportation-ode-to-the-scooter/

Ironically a month ago, however, I was hit head-on by a car while riding the scooter, and my life changed. So to anybody looking at renting or buying a two-wheeled beast: enjoy….and be careful! :-)

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:41 am

I really hope you and your partner recover soon Nora :)

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Arti March 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Trains are definitely the fastest and easiest way to travel especially here in India!!

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:46 am

And the most fun! :)

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Becci March 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

I agree, but I love buses! I love being able to chat to the driver at every ciggie break and the mysterious goods you can buy out of the window whenever the bus approaches a town!

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:02 am

That’s cool Becci, I have to admit taking buses is my least favorite method :)

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Budget Travel Blog March 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I agree entirely Samuel! I love overland travel, and would much rather spend time on a train or Moped and see my surroundings than fly over it all the time.

Like Victoria said in one of the other comments: travel for me is about the journey as much as the destination!

John

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:47 am

Great way to put it John – the journey is what keeps me going :)

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John March 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I have to agree with you regarding trains. I also love riding bikes through cities. Whenever I am riding through a city, I am right in the action of it all, and I almost feel like a local.

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:05 am

Totally agree with you John. I just rode around Malacca on bike and it was fantastic!

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Yeity March 4, 2013 at 6:11 am

All fun and games until the moped comes screening off the road and you gracefully shit yourself than have to stitch up your own knee cause you can’t trust the third world medic who’s cleaning the needle with a flame…. true story.

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:30 am

Yikes, I’ve heard this story too many times. It is a bit risky being on one. It’s not so much you, as the driver, but others on the road that drive like maniacs.

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adamsonbenard March 4, 2013 at 7:19 am

train is best for travel . I love riding bike in cities

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:06 am

Indeed, indeed :)

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nelnel @ things to do in warsaw March 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Trains are a very convenient way to travel. It is also less expensive than travelling by plane.

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:27 am

That’s a great point!

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Kieu ~ GQ trippin March 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I love traveling by train. And mopeds are just plain fun.

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:13 am

That’s cool! Did you travel by moped on your epic journey?

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John @ Imperative Travel March 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Mine has to be tuk-tuk! I get such a buzz riding on the back of one of those, plus I don’t trust myself driving a moped, otherwise that would be it.

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:21 am

I love taking the tuk-tuk as well. What an adventure!

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Omri March 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Great post and movie! really kick me back to my train journeys in India… There is nothing like the Indian trains. Some of my best travel experiences are from the trains. I love the fact that the train cabin become a microcosms of India with the smells, sounds, the shouting of the Chai wallas and the oily snacks, animals getting on and the train and off it… but the best thing is the Indians you meet there, I saw it all – Philosophical conversations, transgenders dancing in the cabin, children acrobatic performances, Indian food feasts with a family of 10 and so much more.. Its worth to go to India only for some god 20 hours or so train journey.

Omri Shamir

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:15 am

Most definitely Omri, I feel I could write a book just on my encounters on the trains :)

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Jeremy Fischer March 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I absolutely love train travel as well. But I have to say that my all-time favorite is hitchhiking. Sure you may end up stuck in a cramped car with a very creepy person, but I’ve met some truly wonderful people this way. And I’ve actually never been on a moped before. I will definitely have to try that sometime soon!

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Samuel March 8, 2013 at 3:18 am

Hitchhiking is the most adventurous and would leave you would the best stories to tell afterwards :)

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Jenny March 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I agree. Train is far and away the best mode of travel. You can comfortably sit, stand, eat, pee, sleep. My other favorite mode is on foot- though it takes more planning and is appropriate for shorter distances.

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