A few weeks ago, I said that I was looking at two options: either employment, or a massive trip by Amtrak around the United States of America. Since I didn't obtain employment, the train trip is on. I have a 30 day Amtrak pass. I have my first two tickets, Chicago and New York. After spending some time in the Northeast, I am planning to go through New Orleans, Texas, back to Chicago, to California, and then back home. A rather bold itinerary, one that will take me through every region of the country and to some of the biggest cities in the world.

It is kind of scary. I've been in Montana for five years, for much of that time becoming ever more focused on ever-finer details of obscure subjects. Pretty soon I will be dropped in some of the biggest, busiest cities of the world with nothing but a backpack. But I need to do that.

When I was 17, and attending community college, I got bored in the middle of the day. I took some money out of the bank, bought a Greyhound ticket and left for Arizona with the clothing on my back. I did make some preparations, though: I purchased some comic books. I was young, naive, and was taking a more difficult form of transportation, and yet the whole thing was done blithely. This trip, with much more careful planning, is much more anxiety provoking for me. But then, I don't have the cocoon of comforting stupidity that I had at seventeen.

But every bit of it will be worth it for me: there is a world of texture that I have forgotten about. Even the smallest details of this trip will probably wake me up to the larger world, and there will be many small details and also many large ones. I am excited.

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