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Blogging from The Amtrak Cascades

written by John Chow on December 4, 2010

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I have blogged from many different places just to prove that you can blog from anywhere in the world. The last time, I blogged from a plane at 32,000 feet. This time, I’m blogging from the Amtrak Cascades train going from Vancouver to Seattle.

Blogging from a train is actually very easy if you have the right gear. The train doesn’t have any WiFi so you’ll have to either tether your iPhone or use something like the MiFi from Virgin Mobile. My MiFi only works in the US so I’ll have to tether my Rogers iPhone during the Vancouver leg of the trip and then switch over to the Virgin MiFi when I cross over into the US. The laptop I’m blogging from is an Apple Macbook Air. The business class car has electrical outlets to plug in all my blogging gear.

The business class car at the Amtrak Cascades is very roomy and quite comfortable. It’s also very emptied. There’s only four other people in the car with me. You think with the holiday season and all, the train would be packed. Other than no in-train wifi, the Cascades is equipped with pretty much everything else. There’s even a nice dining car where you can grab a bite to eat and business class riders get $3 off any food purchases. I might use it to get a few Diet Coke or two.

The train ride from Vancouver to Seattle takes 4 hours. The reason it’s so slow is because there’s quite a few stops along the way. I don’t really mind that because it gives me more time to relax and enjoy the amazing technologies that allowed to make this blog post.

Blogging from the train

Blogging from the train

Blogging from the train

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Abhik December 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Looks like you enjoyed the journey :)

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 4:18 am

Yes this one was simply well managed one … and I am sure you have good time.

Human Development December 6, 2010 at 10:36 am

Obviously …

Adult Seduction December 4, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Train rides can be relaxing, but I am willing to bet the food sucks though John.

John Chow December 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Yes, the food sucks very badly! The mac and cheese was the worst mac and cheese I’ve ever had.

Adult Seduction December 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Next time (if their is one) bring your own mac and cheese and ask them to heat it up since the one you ate before tasted like crap.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 6:17 am

Well I always recommend to have your own food while traveling.

I avoid outside food and I think you should also do that.

Benjamin Kerensa December 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Hmm odd they didn’t have Wifi I just took Amtrak last week from Portland to Salem and then back and they had Wifi on both trips… it was actually pretty fast to my suprise I got around 1MBps down and 1MBps up.

I am going to be taking Amtrak from PDX to Seattle next year for a business trip to establish some new staff up there for a Washington based Niche site and also to visit a friend in Seattle and Renton so I hope they have Wifi from PDX to Seattle.

and hopefully I will get to have some of the acclaimed Dot Com Pho ;)

John Chow December 4, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Well, the Vancouver to Seattle train has no WiFi. I have to depend on my MiFi, which was pretty slow during some parts of the run.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 4:17 am

You should enjoy your journey … if the connection was too slow.

I would love to enjoy the view and all.

rhaka December 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I hope I’ll be like you later sir,make money is so easy and can do in everywhere :-)

dotCOMreport December 5, 2010 at 1:09 am

You do not want to know the places I’ve had to blog from in my life! Regardless of the experiences though, I love the fact that blogging can be done literally from anywhere in the world.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 6:19 am

That’s why people are coming to this field because there is no boundary and there is no limitation as well.

Joshua Rasnier December 5, 2010 at 1:22 am

Well the next challenge is now to blog while skydiving.

Harshad December 6, 2010 at 2:56 am

A video while sky diving is quiet possible.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 6:26 am

Lolllz …. love your sense of humour Joshua …

Matt Ringstad December 6, 2010 at 8:32 am

Interesting. John, let me know if this challenge sparks your interest. I can hook you up …skydiving video blogging…

Ed from December 5, 2010 at 5:01 am

sounds quite fun. for me my blogging venues are just home, the malls, cafes and library. maybe i need to be adventurous a little bit more.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 6:33 am

Just use your laptop … wherever you get time.

This is not only strict to the blogging but you can also use it to enhance your knowledge and all.

Pete Carr December 5, 2010 at 5:24 am

Well John, I think you have just proved that you can Blog from anywhere. I am writing this from Cairo, Egypt where I am on holiday, and still blogging.
Blogging is truly worldwide.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 6:35 am

Yes that is the main mantra of this profession.

You just need three things … Laptop … internet connection and idea.

And you are ready to go …

Harshad December 6, 2010 at 12:44 am

Why does the 2nd pic look different? Looks like a restaurant to me.

John Chow December 6, 2010 at 12:55 am

That is the dining car.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog December 6, 2010 at 6:36 am

John mentioned some good words about the dining car … read it Harshad ..

Harshad December 7, 2010 at 2:05 am

I did but I wasn’t sure about the pic.

ilham @ China Pictures December 6, 2010 at 8:21 am

I have been dreaming to became a travel writer, traveling around the world and blogging on the way to cover my cost so far it seems I need try harder to reach that level.

stop smoking December 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

Sounds quite fun, I mean blogging from anywhere around the world!

Awesome john :)

Cheap Sunglasses December 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

Now.. just try a bus! I am traveling for the holidays in two weeks and hope I can catch even a glimmer of WiFi along the 11 hour ride.

Blasted family lives too far away!

John Chow December 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Funny you should mention the bus. The bus from Vancouver to Seattle has WiFi! LOL

Harshad December 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

I took a bus from NYC to Buffalo and the bus did have WiFi… nice 7 hours journey.

James Rose December 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Of all the places to not have WiFi! You would think that train companies would have gotten that part of communication up to par. Amtrak should work on getting a new IT consulting or support company or something. Besides that I agree that blogging from anywhere is a cool thing.

Cheap Sunglasses December 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Unfortunately James, there just isn’t the same motivation in the IT sector that other places like China and Japan have.

I’m from the US. We are still stuck with painfully slow Internet speeds compared to other nations.

The only way to get Internet just about anywhere in the US would be a satellite Internet uplink. But those are incredibly expensive and severely limited in their transfer rate. Might be different in Canada.

PPC Ian December 7, 2010 at 1:44 am

Awesome stuff! I take the train to work everyday, but unfortunately they don’t have business class. If they did, I’d certainly pay for it! I leverage my iPad on the train, mostly to get my blog commentating in!

Harshad December 9, 2010 at 1:21 am

So can we assume that you skipped work or did not get proper space in the train when we do not see your comments here?

Anne - InteliWISE December 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

The 2nd photo was of the coach or the economy class? The business class looks really comfy. How much work were you able to finish during the journey?

John Chow December 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

The second photo is the dining car.

Dating yo Girlfriend December 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Next blog, from a submarine!

ikki December 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Looks like you enjoyed, u do a lot of travel

Harshad December 9, 2010 at 1:25 am

This actually reminds me of the cruise I was on from Singapore to Thailand & Malaysia. They had a room with 3 computers which had Internet on them. The Internet on them never worked tho. I think it’s really tough to get Internet on Ships/Cruises… Anyone having good Internet experience in the Sea or Ocean?

Catalin December 9, 2010 at 2:22 am

I can only assume you gain great inspiration when blogging while traveling :)

Lucian December 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm

How many days a year are you at home and how many travelling ?

Dating yo Girlfriend December 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

Reminds me of when I lived in Japan. I would ride the shinkansen from Osaka to Tokyo and just chill with my lap top as the train sped along. One of the many perks of making a living from your computer.

fas December 20, 2010 at 7:05 am

why didn’t you use 3G?