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Student voices: Choose your own adventure

This past week has been a much-needed break, as spring break finally arrived. Many of my friends traveled to Europe, or went on cruises this year for the break. Unfortunately, I do not get to go anywhere quite as exotic. But I do get to leave Rosemount for a few days for a short trip to Chicago.

The main purpose of this trip is to visit colleges. There is a lot of business to get done, but I also expect to have fun exploring the large city. Perhaps the aspect I am most excited for is the method my mom and I chose to travel to the Windy City. Rather than pay an extreme amount of money on a short plane ride, or drive for hours just to encounter even more driving stress in the busy city, we are traveling by train.

Train travel seems to be a lost form of transportation, especially in the United States. People take trains for short distances -- the light rail in Minneapolis, for instance -- but how often do you embark on a long adventure via train?

As I have discussed my spring break plans with others, multiple people have commented that my "adventure" sounds incredible, and that they too have always wanted to take a long-distance trip on a train. There are countless routes to discover on trains in the United States, although most people, including me prior to planning this trip, do not realize this. Train travel is much more affordable than airfare, and between gas prices and city parking fares, may prove to be more economically sound than driving.

I find it interesting that the fact I am riding a train to Chicago transforms the trip to an adventure, but I will take it. It sounds more fun, and will certainly provide an unforgettable experience.

The reaction to my "adventure," however, has prompted a question for me: What else have people wanted to do, but never done because they just never got around to it? I think everyone has had an opportunity or idea that was not pursued for financial, legal or other reasons. Maybe it was just overlooked or forgotten until one day, when they wished they had pursued it. It is not a great feeling to have when you realize you missed out on an amazing opportunity in life, or perhaps just something you have always wanted to experience, possibly with an avoidable excuse.

If you really want to try something new, travel to a certain place, or perhaps ride a train across America -- there is no better time than the present. You only live once, right?

So I encourage everyone to think about that one thing always in the back of their mind -- something they have always wanted to do, but never accomplished -- and pursue it while you can.