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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Ever wondered what taking the train would be like? Well, I’ve got you covered. I recently took Amtrak home one weekend with my roommate, and it was definitely an interesting experience. Traveling from Santa Barbara to the Bay Area took approximately eight and a half hours, though we were also met with two delays: a truck abandoned on the railroad, and the other being a medical emergency. Both delays lasted around 30-40 minutes, and thankfully, the passenger’s emergency was resolved without much difficulty. One wouldn’t expect a delay like the former, and I’m still not sure exactly why the truck was left there to begin with, but it made for a funny story when I got back home.

To be expected, the ride itself was incredibly long, but at the same time, it was a peaceful trip with great views of the natural scenery along the coast. From the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean to the open hills and fields, I was engrossed by the pretty sights (or what I could make of it since my roommate claimed the window seat), so it made the lengthy trip more bearable. The train itself was pretty crowded, but for the most part, it was quiet and we both were comfortable; there was plenty of leg room and they offered a variety of snacks and meals!

We also had assigned seating, but there’s the option of sitting in a much more spacious room with larger windows all around with tables to place all of your personal belongings on. It was definitely an upgrade from where we were sitting, but I didn’t mind our location at all — it was nice and cozy, so it didn’t really matter where we were.

The only real down side of taking the train would be the lack of Wi-Fi, which seemed catastrophic at the time. I planned to take my online quiz on the train ride and turn in some last minute assignments, but instead, I was horrified by the lack of internet connection. There were moments where I’d connect only for it to disappear a second later, though I was somehow able to take my quiz within that quick window, which was incredibly anxiety-inducing.

Instead of going on my laptop and playing Papa’s Freezeria or Five Nights at Freddy’s like I planned, I amused myself with other things like listening to music, daydreaming, and playing a game with my roommate. I was also able to binge Netflix’s Beef on my phone using cellular data, but for next time, I can watch movies and TV shows by simply downloading them to my device so I won’t have to worry about Wi-fi!

There are plenty of things to do without internet, so if that’s the one thing that’s making you hesitate about the train, then it’s really the least of your worries! My roommate and I had fun on our ride, and if you take the trip with friends, you’re sure to have a good time.

Now, if you’re interested in taking the train but aren’t sure how to navigate the process, I’m here to help! To get there, you can take Bus 11 to Santa Barbara’s State Street where you’ll get dropped off at the Transit Center. Taking the bus can be confusing at times, so make sure you’re looking at the correct pick-up and drop-off locations. To look over the bus routes, you can check out SBMTD’s bus tracker that lists the bus schedules and estimated arrival times. I personally liked tracking the buses by text; all you have to do is text the bus ID to SBMTD’s number, which are both provided on the sign at the bus stop.

Once you arrive at the Transit Station, you’re going to walk down several blocks on State Street where eventually you’ll come upon the train station. You’ll know it’s the station once you see the railroad tracks, and it’ll be on your left-hand side, so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge locating the building at all. If you are having difficulty, Google Maps always comes in clutch, so there’s no need to fret if you feel lost. Once you’re there, all you have to do is wait for your train to arrive, and it’s all smooth sailing from there!

While transportation by car or plane is all-around faster, the train is still a great option for travel. Just remember to bring books or games to entertain yourself on the ride, and bringing your own snacks along would do you some good, too! I really enjoyed the ride, and I’m sure you will as well ;)

Sofia is a third-year Writing & Literature major at UCSB. In her free time, she enjoys watching anime, playing video games, and drinking chai tea.