For years I’ve been saying that my fantasy trip would be a very long train ride—perhaps across Canada—with a stack of books I’d been meaning to read.
I was musing about that a while ago and decided to take it to the next level. Since another longtime desire has been to ride the Orient Express, I got thinking about that and who I would want to have on the train with me.
I went to the Orient Express Web site and chose the Venice-Prague-Paris route. Now, I just had to fill up the train.
My list was quite long, but here are some of people I’d want along:
My family—because they’re great travel companions despite our different interests; Zoe and Zachary would liven things up, of course
Anne Lamott— because she’s a rare combination of wise and funny
Jon Stewart—because I owe my sanity to him
Bill Bryson—because he’s a brilliant storyteller who makes me laugh out loud
Richard Branson—because an entrepreneur whose motto is “Fun is Fundamental” belongs on this trip
Whoever writes the copy for the Innocent Drinks Web site—because they’re wacky
Elizabeth Gilbert—because she might be ready for another trip and she speaks Italian
Guy Laliberte—because I suspect the founder of Cirque du Soleil is a genius
Billy Collins—because he turns stories into poems that I love
Rick Steves—because he could fill us in on what we’re seeing
Philip Pullman—because he’s one of the best storytellers alive
Bill Strickland—a man who understands how telling his story has contributed to his success
I realized as I was making out my list of fellow passengers that every one of them was selected because I wanted to hear their stories. You’ll also notice that there are no politicians or overexposed celebrities on the list.
In fact, even though many of the passengers are quite well known, they each have a bit of mystique about them. Imagine what five days on board with this group would be like.
If you were filling up a train or a yacht or a retreat center, who would you most love to have along? Make out your list and then don’t be surprised if you find yourself in their presence someday.
After all, genuine admiration is wonderfully magnetic.