Musings From a Bus Ride

Traveling via bus is not my cup of tea.

This past weekend I took a little trip to D.C. for my friend’s birthday. We were going to be staying at her sister’s place, which is actually in Alexandria, a town right outside of D.C.

Can I just say—I’m definitely no stranger to bus travel. When I was living at home and commuting into the city before I actually moved here, I took a bus each and every morning into good ole’ Port Authority, and then back home again at night.

I’ve taken buses to Boston that cost about $15 per ticket AND had free Wi-Fi, and comfy seats with tables and cup holders.

With that recent trip to Boston in my head, I was a little surprised when I discovered that the bus we would be taking to Virginia was in fact $30 per ticket. No biggie, though, for double the price, it’s got to be a decent bus, right?

It’s not that this bus was terrible. I have no funny stories, or embarrassing moments or truly revealing details regarding the actual bus. What I will say is that when I showed up at 6:30 to catch a 7 o’clock bus, I thought I would be one of the few nerdy ones who shows up a 1/2 hour early to get a good seat and then ends up sitting around for, well, a 1/2 hour.

Not so for this trip. Apparently D.C. travelers are a different breed of people. Not only was I not early to get on the bus, I was one of the last people on it, and it even ended up leaving around 6:45—a full 15 minutes before it was scheduled to (although as I mentioned, the bus was full, which may have been the reason behind the early departure).

In general, I came away with a few tips from my journey south that I’d love to share:

  • If it’s really important to you to get a window seat (as it was with me), don’t be afraid to show up as early as you like. And even then, your plan may backfire. Be prepared for an aisle seat by the bathroom. Blech.
  • Do some research. I’m sure there were probably cheaper, somewhat decent options to D.C.
  • The only time I would ever advocate for purchasing a Kindle would be for a bus ride such as the one I took last weekend—or especially if it was longer. What happens if your genius plan to show up early and get your window seat backfires AND you finish your book before the ride is over??? Then what?? Having a Kindle allows you to have back-up books, without breaking your back.
  • Be wary what you eat when you’re sitting next to someone who you don’t know, and who you will be forced to sit next to for the next however many hours. Excessive crinkling will not be tolerated, nor will disgusting smelling foods. Also, please refrain from the intolerable sighing (man sitting next to me D.C. bound, I’m talking to you).

P.S. I finished Grounded, friends, and I cannot WAIT to share my thoughts with you. Gotta say, reading a book about traveling around the world via ground transportation made me feel like my little adventure to D.C. on the bus was really not worth complaining about…

Bis Bald!

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