This past weekend I headed up to York with some friends. It was a last-minute trip, planned the week of. I had originally planned on staying in London that weekend, but on Tuesday decided to go. Interestingly other people too had planned to stay in London but had decided to go too. Originally, I had booked my tickets for arrival and departure at a separate time from the people I was going with; I had just gone with what was cheapest, not thinking about the fact that going on a trip meant with friends should include traveling together. Also, I would have been arriving three hours before my first friends would have arrived and would have had to find a way to kill three hours of time with my backpack with all my things. You don’t realize how heavy your backpack is till you spend all day walking around with it.
Thankfully I was able to change my ticket and arrive and depart with friends. I did have to pay a fee, but the FEA grant made it not has big of a concern as it normally would have been so thank you, FEA! And of course, traveling with friends is a much more fun experience! It was my first time traveling via train and I have to say traveling by train is much more superior to flying. I would love to exclusively travel by train and Europeans are so lucky to have such a well-developed train system (unlike the U.S.).
The train ride back Sunday night was when things got interesting. We had split up Sunday afternoon while looking for ways to kill time until our train ride that evening. The group had headed back to the hostel to pick up their backpacks while a friend and I had decided to carry our backpacks with us and stayed around the city, so we arrived separately at the train station. My friend and I were under the impression we were on the same train since I had coordinated my ticket change with his ticket; there was a 1-minute difference (17:58 and 17:59) but we figured that was a small error on the ticket. However, we realized after the train our other friends had boarded had left the station that my friend’s ticket was a split ticket that had downloaded two copies of the same ticket which showed the 17:58 time and he was actually supposed to be on the train that had left that all our friends had boarded.
We were now in a high-stress zone, 15 minutes before the 17:59 train was arriving. We didn’t know what to do, whether he could get on or would need to buy a new ticket or if he would have to spend another night in York. We consulted someone at the information desk who said there was nothing he could do; it would have to be sorted out on the train. We both got on when the train arrived, and he waited to speak to an attendant. Despite all the anxieties that completely flooded the few minutes prior to departure, the attendant surprisingly waved away his ticket and told him to take a seat. Incredible! After all that worrying and obsessing, such a simple solution! Maybe it was because the times were a literal minute apart? Either way, no problem at all! In fact, things continued in a weirdly miraculous way. The entire train was packed but the seat by me was empty despite being marked as reserved (as if it had been reserved for him), so my friend was able to sit beside me, and we had each other for company for the train ride back to King’s Cross. Everything worked out weirdly and mysteriously enough. Obviously traveling as its ups and downs; there are moments when things go horribly awry or when there are bumps in the road. However, moments like these are a special part of traveling; when things weirdly work out and it was special to have been able to experience that.
Below is a photo of the River Ouse in York.