Coast to coast with Takumi Torii

By Takumi Torii
This past summer I went on an exciting trip. I crossed the U.S. by train, which had been one of my dreams for a long time. On the day I left Seattle, I was in the Amtrak station alone. Though I was still in Seattle, my heart was longing for the East Coast. I could not help being excited in front of the entrance to the train. I rode this train with excitement. The other passengers seemed relaxed. It was the first time I took the Amtrak. My first destination was Chicago. I thought I would be bored on the way because it took 45 hours. Yet I didn’t feel like sleeping, even at night, because of the opportunity to talk to many unusual passengers. The first person I met was a young man. When I asked, he told me he was going to Chicago. It was a coincidence that we had the same destination. Our seats were next to each other. He was from Missouri and he was the only person who was from Missouri. We talked to each other about the towns we lived in and many other things. He was quite talkative, so I didn’t even notice when it got dark outside. I was interested in the differences between “liberal” and “conservative” depended on the area of the country. According to him, his state is a pretty conservative area socially. That night, I went downstairs to take a rest at the lounge. When I went there, a man from North Dakota, who looked pretty old, was explaining about the Bible to a student. He also talked to me, and we talked until 2:00 a.m. I talked to a lot of people the next day, too. An old lady from Illinois recommended some places to go in Chicago. Another old man from Minnesota told me about his life. In the early morning, I saw a beautiful sunrise from the lounge while talking with a businessman from Indiana. I could see the calm, vast view. I was so surprised because there were so many farms and countryside outside the train. I watched the horizon for a long time. It looked too quiet to be the U.S., and I spent a couple of hours without seeing anybody, but saw many horses and cows. There were no cars, buildings, or lights. It took almost 70 hours from Seattle to NYC. I rode on the train for three nights, and I got used to sleeping there. This was the first time in my life that I spent the whole day on the train. In terms of people and area, this country is definitely diverse. I saw exactly that. Of course, going to Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York City is unforgettable as well. I visited museums, buildings, monuments, and other attractions. But the Amtrak ride made the trip even more memorable. The long trip gave me many chances to understand a different aspect of the U.S. and passengers from the various states I have never been. I highly recommend a train journey across the U.S. and I think it would be a wonderful experience for you!

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