I’m leavin’ on a jet train,
don’t know when I’ll be back again.
I know, I hear ya: the original lyrics were jet plane; I wasn’t on a jet train; and I had a return date in mind. But it was my song anyway.
At 9:56 pm, I wrote in my train-gray notebook:
“JAX train station. R and W just left. Peace settled in immediately. Re-read “Jesus Calling” notes. Now waiting for departure.”
And so the journey began!
Settling in for the Night on a Train
I like catching the 11:03 pm departure on the Silver Star because then I can settle in for the night right away. If I don’t check a bag (I will next time between JAX and WAS), then I ask for help tucking my suitcase above the seat. (Be sure to check luggage sizes on Amtrak.com, which I do obsessively.)
Sleeping with Carry On
What about sleeping with carry on?
I know, I worried, too. The big bag above me I just have to trust God with. I took the advice of other train travelers and stowed it on the opposite side of the aisle when possible. That way I could glance up on occasion and make sure it was still there.
When you travel on a superliner train that doesn’t have checked baggage for one reason or another, you stow your larger suitcase downstairs while you sit upstairs. That made me nervous, of course, but again, it’s nice to have an eternal Hero with you on the journey.
Keep Your Backpack with You
My backpack has my meds and other necessities so I keep it with me at all times. Not that I think anyone will steal it (it happens, but it’s rare), but sometimes in the bustle of detraining people can grab the wrong bag. They would be disappointed to find my meds and I would be disappointed to find their baby’s diapers.
Save everyone the disappointment and keep your backpack with you.
How to Stow Your Backpack of Necessities
Here are a few tips that will help God keep necessities in our possession, just like locking our doors to prevent casual theft
– Loop the backpack’s strap around your ankle before tucking it under your footrest. Yes, trains have footrests!!
– Cover up with a long coat, blanket or lightweight sleeping bag.
– Point zippers toward the floor.
– Carry your credit cards and cash in a cross-body purse or in a wallet in a pocket you sit on.
Remember: Most Amtrak passengers are just like you, traveling to get from one place to another.
Prepare, take precautions, then relax and keep in mind: you are the only thing that is non-replaceable.
*I found a mini-sleeping bag at Walmart that was perfect. It is full-size in length and width, but super thin. It squishes into it’s own carry bag, too.