All Aboard The Procrastination Train


I always have the best of intentions when I board a train.

I’m going to write a few blog posts, edit some others, and start to plan for the next newsletter. Maybe even read a chapter in my book if I’m a good-little-blogger and get all of my work done.

Free from the distraction of the internet and with no ability to explore more than our train car, it is the best chance to dig in and get lots done.

Train Ride

After each Train Ride, I come away disgruntled at myself and my extreme lack of productivity.

But I can’t help it. As soon as I get settled into the seat, my priorities vanish. There are suddenly many things that are far more important than work.

Like, check out that castle up on the hill! That’s been five…six…seven vineyards we’ve passed since the last town. Look at all those olive trees…mmm…fresh olive oil…pasta…what am I going to eat tonight?

Oh look! More gorgeous coastline with crystal blue water.


Without fail, I get sucked into my surroundings and the ever-changing views speeding past.

I get reflective. There’s nothing like gorgeous scenery, comfy first class seats and an iPod full of good music to encourage plenty of gazing and contemplating of life’s biggest perplexities. I even have a music playlist created for this purpose, entitled staring-out-of-train-windows-mix. It contains the sort of mellow tunes that transcend without overwhelming.

And then when it gets to be too much, when the passing scenery becomes a blur and the weight of life’s grand mysteries grow heavy on my eyelids, I nap. The gentle rocking and clacking of the train lulls me into sweet superficial sleep with musical dreams.

As for Pete – he is much more disciplined, using the time to organize photos from our latest stop.

And when he sees me with my earbuds in, he knows not to disturb. This is my alone time, to be beside myself and within my thoughts.

In between sight seeing and the never ending work of blogging, this is my only chance to get nothing done.


24 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • December 21 2011

    Sometimes you just gotta get nothing done.

    I was on a train from Berlin to Freiburg, Germany this summer with my wife, Heather.

    We were strapped down with our laptops and other gear…all fired up and ready to get some major work done.

    But we had the same experience you did. The trains are so soothing. The gentle rocking motion and typically amazing scenery are an awesome opportunity to do nothing and relish it.

    • December 22 2011

      With 12 train trips in 30+ days, I just gave up fighting the procrastination, and accepted that it was my time to do absolutely nothing. Like you said, it’s just so damn soothing! :0

  • December 21 2011

    This is me. I always promise myself I will write. When I had my two day transit to Thailand, I swore I’d get started with my book, or at least do some blogging. I did nothing. Usually, I have all of these high hopes, but the most I do is edit photos because, while it requires attention, it doesn’t require a steady train of thought.
    DTravelsRound recently posted..Escape of the Week: Radovljica, Slovenia

    • December 22 2011

      The odd time I would get a flash of inspiration and just type some jumbled notes on my iPod, but only felt the urge to pull out the laptop about..3% of the time? Haha! So productive.

  • Mom
    December 21 2011

    Ummmmmmmmmm. Nice soft read. Enjoyed it so much.

  • Jeremy Branham
    December 21 2011

    Oh man, welcome to my life! I really need to be in a quiet place and turn off all distractions. I am the king of procrastination! I always have so much I want to do that I don’t get done. However, castles, vineyards, and reflections (which I do quite often) are a good thing too! 🙂

    • December 22 2011

      With so many train trips for the Blog Trail, I just gave in to the procrastination and didn’t fight it any longer. It was my essential down time!

  • December 21 2011

    Ah, procrastination. We are great friends, we are.

    I’m the same way, whether it’s on a plane, train, or bus. I always tell myself I’m going to be productive… but I’m lucky if I even crack open my book or turn my laptop on. Usually, like you, I just wind up chilling to music and enjoying the scenery. Or I nap. Napping is good, too.
    Amanda recently posted..Travel Video: The Great American Road Trip

    • December 22 2011

      Glad to know I’m not alone! Of course I’d feel super guilty as Pete worked for hours organizing photos. But I just. couldn’t. do. it!

  • December 22 2011

    Man, this fits me to a T! You’re sure you’re not talking bout me? Hahahaha! Sometimes, we just have to let go and enjoy the moment. Have fun!
    InsideJourneys recently posted..A Jamaican Christmas – Reggae Carols

  • December 22 2011

    Totally know what you mean!
    Jacob recently posted..Pokhara Biking and the Mountain Museum

  • December 22 2011

    Aww I love that last photo 🙂 I am the same way any time I get onto any kind of transportation… planes, trains, buses, even if someone else drives a car. It’s a complete shutdown. When people say they hate flying I’m like, “Oh really? I love it, I just stare into space and do nothing for hours!”
    sam kelly recently posted..Who Am I?

  • December 23 2011

    I am exactly the same on train journeys…start out with the best of intentions and then…nothing! Too much to look at, great time to think and relax. Planes are the only place I can get anything done – and I usually end up being super productive. Train journeys should be embraced for what they are…which is the perfect opportunity to do nothing 🙂

  • Joanne
    December 25 2011

    Wow! This made me want to fly to Europe and hop on a train. I really enjoy your blog posts. Just discovered it last month. 🙂

    • December 26 2011

      Thanks Joanne! We really enjoyed all of our train time in Europe, it is by far our preferred way to travel! 🙂

  • December 25 2011

    I spend between 1, to 2 hours per working day on trains, and I just love looking out of the window or reading a book (and often leafing through guidebooks!). I actually love having this time to myself so I can do very little.
    Denise recently posted..Pura Tanah Lot, Bali: Too touristy? Who cares?

    • December 26 2011

      Me too! Once I got over the I-should-be-working part. I finally just gave into the ride and enjoyed it so much!

  • Anthea Whitley
    December 29 2011

    We tend to forget that it’s in the quietist of moments that we get the most work done….. afterall, to-do lists get resolved; priorities are re-sorted; but best of all an article is refined!

    Happy travelling for 2012 ….

    May your roads be long,
    Your nights be happy …. and
    Most of all, you enjoy the ‘quietness’ of life

    • December 30 2011

      Anthea – thank you!! And all the best to you as well! 🙂

  • December 30 2011

    Welcome to the Window seat syndrome….
    Rahul recently posted..Agra Diaries: Taj Mahal in Moon light

    • January 5 2012

      Haha – that’s an awesome name for it! 🙂

  • January 15 2012

    I do the same thing. Make big plans to do this, this, and this and then do That. Nothing but sit and enjoy the scenery. Isn’t that why we travel though?
    Tricia recently posted..Where Should We Go In….Chile – Part One

    • January 15 2012

      You are absolutely right! Some times I get it in my head that I travel in order to fill up the blog, which is totally wrong! I have a problem – haha! 🙂

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