I don’t take long train journeys often. Being at university in Southampton everything I need is a short bus ride away. When I go home to Hertfordshire, however, I must take a train from Southampton to London Waterloo, which takes about 1.5-2hrs. On this journey I always make sure I have my ipod and headphones and often a book. I am sure I’m not the only one who brings entertainment for a journey this length, as shown by the actions of my fellow passengers. Very few sit there enjoying the peace and quiet of the train and relish in the rest it provides in the hectic life so many of us lead.

In my newly found opinion, train journeys are a time to relax, where for a short period of time you have no obligations, or duties. You can sit there and look out the window, taking in the English countryside. Most train lines run through fields and sometimes forests, and there is so much simple beauty to take in from these scenes. Even when not near the window you can close your eyes and take your time to think, about absolutely anything. In a world where we seldom have time to simply mull through what’s in our own heads, a train journey is a missed opportunity to indulge in this.

We live in a world where entertainment is thrown at us. Anything from phones, ipods, books, portable games consoles, laptops etc. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment whilst travelling, but we are missing a golden chance to do so much more. These distractions are conditioning our brains to want to be active all the time, and it means we feel so bored when we have nothing to do. Although this can certainly be a good thing for it makes us want to use our time, we should use the energy to declutter our brains.

So I, Niamh Elizabeth Bell, personally challenge anyone and everyone to take at least twenty minutes of your journey to think to yourself. No distractions, no excuses and nothing to entertain you but the wasted imagination we all have somewhere in our complex minds. For some it may be easy but for others it will be a struggle. Use the time to tackle any personal problems you have, those decisions you have to make but you really don’t want to or how to word a difficult answer to a difficult question. Even if it’s mulling over that heart wrenching book ending or cliff hanger in your favourite TV show, you’re still spending this isolation time with yourself, and that is what is important about this challenge. Spend time with yourself, away from the jam-packed existence so many of us have, and you might feel a little more on top of life.

Good luck,

Niamh x


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