So… here I am… on the train to Frankfurt, which I almost missed because I was too stubborn to step in the right wagon directly instead of entering another one. Could have spared me some stress and I wouldn’t have been out of breath either…
Frankfurt isn’t my destination, but I need to get there to take another train for Zürich, where I will stay for a night until I continue my journey to Italy, meeting my business partner for our project we’re working on.
I could have chosen to go via plane, but I decided to go by train… and I’ll tell you why I did that.
I always took the easy way, anticipated every problem I could encounter, avoid every surprise.
Always wanted to keep my peace of mind to make sure I kept my anxiety at the lowest.
Because yes, I do have anxiety attacks once in a while, which might surprise some friends of mine.
Why did I choose to get out of my comfort zone… and why now, you may ask.
Simply because I needed a change in my head, my personal life has become an automation, too much of the same (le train-train quotidien as they say in French, which is in this case ironic), while work has become the complete opposite. Too much stress, not finding the right mission (besides working on a software for a friend/client) and thus becoming a mental burden. Financially I don’t have to complain but it’s not where I’d like to stay for a longer period.
You could say my life has become a bit dull, bland, unsurprising and I realised I had to change that.
Is it a mid-life crisis? Who knows… but at least I’m reasonable enough to not wanting to buy a bike.
I wanted to document this journey, and the best way, next to this blog, to do this is to take pictures along the way. This was a golden opportunity to rediscover photography again, a long lost hobby of mine.
And as my Canon 7D is a bit too heavy and heard good things about Fujifilm I asked my brother if he could lend me his Fujifilm X-Pro3 with a 33mm lens to toy with.
I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by the quality of both the camera as the lens.
Once home I think I will go for a Fujifilm camera as well, really digging it.
My ecological footprint
Another reason why I wanted to go by train is to see what my ecological footprint would be compared to flying.
A quick lookup tells me that flying from Brussels Airport to Ancona generates 0,276t of CO2, while via train it’s only 14% of that amount, which is quite considerable, if you ask me.
If you want some more details, go have a look at the following website: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/carbon-footprint-travel-mode
So, is it worth it?
Although I enjoy taking the train because of the scenery and the fact that I meet random people along the way, it does take time… in total I will travel for almost 18 hours without counting my stayover at the hotel.
While it’s my choice to take the train and to have this journey, I’m lucky to have a wonderful wife (yes I’m sucking up to her) who let me have this last minute trip, but also fortunate enough to have that amount of time to be able to travel by train.
In today’s society, we don’t want to waste our time travelling, we want to be as quick as possible to our destination.
It’s also quite expensive to take the train (in this case at least): it costed me approx. 500€ for 2 trains and approx. 250€ for the night in Zurich.
I could have stayed at a cheaper hotel, or even a motel, but hey, I’m not 20 anymore and I like a bit of comfort (although that contradicts the intention of this journey).
On my way back I probably will take a flight back, and it will “only” cost me 250€ for a 4h flight (could be quicker, but as I’m leaving on Thursday, no direct flight is available)
So the conclusion is this: It’s cheaper, faster, but less eco-friendly to go by plane than by train.
Which is sadly a good representation of our today’s society…