17 hours?? Whoa! That's not for me, you may think. But you might be surprised to learn that trains have some great amenities that you can't find on airplanes. We are going to start with...
- LEG ROOM!! Lots of it! Stretch out, do a couple yoga poses... It's possible in a train, and until planes start carrying exercise rooms standard, space is a cheap appreciated commodity on trains.
- What to do with the time? We are starting with all the movies and TV episodes we missed! What do you like to watch?
- How about discovering new music? Getting tired of the same beats? When do you take time to browse for new music that's still to your taste? Break out the ear phones find your Pandora app. Start exploring. We started with a french word "dit" (which means "say") in the search box. Now our FORUS clad feet are stepping to "Stromae." Dance on... you have the space!
- Camaraderie. This is something that is seen in airplanes less. Once upon a time the excitement and wonder of flying 30,000 above terra firma brought people together. Maybe it's the appreciation between train travelersfor the "passé" or perhaps the kid in all of us that loves playing "Thomas the Tank Engine." Whatever the reason, there is something about sitting in the dining car with a coffee and simple cheese sandwich and watching the world run away from you, that makes spontaneous conversation natural.
- The view. Sky is cool... really cool, but sometimes lacks variety. Furthermore, unpredictable thunderstorm weather is not exactly what we hope to experience on planes. Trains on the other hand have views that change every split second, and there are millions of impressions we can take in at every moment. Keep your camera close! Through the cities, the art of graffiti, unusual architecture, styles of housing, funny restaurant and street names, all catches the eye. Then city landscape succumbs to the brilliant colors of autumn leaves still changing. The water of deep gullies, swirling rivers, and vast lakes, creep around the train tracks concrete legs. Movies are interesting, but be sure to take a gander outside of the window. Sometimes the best vistas are in reality.
- Discovery. When you travel across land, there is an opportunity to see things you didn't know existed. Today, we discovered that Manassas has a skating rink next to the train station, and a "Charburger" restaurant across the street! We are always looking for new places to run to and this one just made the list!
- Catching up on emails, deleting, responding, checking out cool links. Yep, trains are ideal. Trains have the space to put the computer on your lap or, if you prefer, the fold out table. Most importantly they have outlets all along the walls. No running out of battery! You are not going anywhere for many hours, and you don't have to talk to anyone if you don't want to, so take the time to give your electronic devices a cathartic cleanse!
At FORUS being on the move is in our blood and sewed into our threads. Traveling in FORUS kicks brings our passions together. What about you? Do you have a story to contribute about where you went with FORUS? Let us know, send us your story...
Time off from work, excuses to travel, see friends and family and eat lots of chocolate! There are many opportunities to give (and get) a little love and hugs! FORUS loves to take these opportunities to move! This holiday, we are crossing off a bucket list and looking forward to seeing what adventures can be found along the train tracks between America's midwest and east coast. Back pack? Check! Long warm coat? Check! Camera? Check! What else?? Of course! A new pair of super comfortable FORUS membrane shoes!
Now we are set! Leg one is 17 hours of track from DC with a stop in Indianapolis; the crossroads of America!
We are going to be visiting family, seeing old friends, and of course, making sure that we keep our bodies happy and healthy, even during the holidays! We want to know how do you make sure to keep your body in harmony with all the holiday temptations to sleep in or eat too much?
So, at FORUS we are all sports fans. Whether we play the game ourselves, run, walk, workout or watch other athletes on TV, we are passionate about sports! So, Madison Square Garden was a must see landmark in NYC! Madison Square Garden now hosts, music shows, and conferences as well as remaining true to its history steeped in sports mania. Hockey, boxing, track competitions and football drafts, have all had a place in this long revered arena.
And with over 300 events every year, you can choose how to make this historical "garden" a part of your fond sports memories. Take your pick from watching basketball and hockey games, cheering on track and field competitors, partying with super star musicians, or marveling at the athletic magic of the Barnum and Bailey Circus acts. FORUS is looking forward to running up and down these famous courts!
And what trip around the world would be complete without a stop in the Big Apple? Welcome to the bright lights of the big city, where dreams are made! But here we are focused on something unique and special about NY. We are at Times Square at night, all night and into the morning! At FORUS we like to see transformation. How change happens for the better and how people achieve their goals and dreams! New York is a city that stands out as a hub of diversity where any one has a chance to make a difference.
The glamour, shine, and bustle of Times Square draws many sojourners and dream makers, including... FORUS!
"Boda Boda?!!!" Welcome to Uganda, where the burnt orange colored dirt bears the weight of a gritty vibrant city. In Kampala (Uganda's capital city), the "bodas" are the popular means of transportation, a motorcycle that is a taxi. They weave passed the blaring horns of vans stranded in potholes, and oversized lorrys (trucks) that block the streets. FORUS is going to need a long hot shower after trekking through the red dust of Kampala city! But our first stop in Kampala is the Refugee Law Project.
Here, Makere University began a program to assist the underprivileged and provide experiential learning for Ugandan law students. A history of violence and conflict has ravaged this region of the Africa. Continuing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and political oppression in several neighboring Nations has forced many refugees to flee into Uganda. That's where the Refugee Law Project (RLP) steps in. Their main focus is to help refugees navigate and understand the legal system and the rights that they can assert in Uganda. However, the RLP also offers psycho-social counseling and English classes to children and adults, because healing needs more than just legal help. There are many organizations throughout Uganda, and the rest of east Africa, that are like RLP. Taking a summer to visit and volunteer is a rich and rewarding experience you will not soon forget. FORUS certainly will not forget the hospitality of everyone here!
If you are pressed for time, we recommend the NS train system to continue your journey in the land under the sea (a large part of the Netherlands lies below sea level, and all those canals make sure it doesn't drown!). However, if a leisurely and scenic journey appeals, then rent a bicycle! The Netherlands is a flat country, which makes biking an ideal way to get around. The scenic views are quintessentially Dutch. As one friend said, the whole country looks like a postcard! So for the true Dutch experience we loaded up the bike, and took to the country roads. We can't share all the pictures here, but our favorites were the windmills and medieval castles.
Take a look!
Welcome to the Netherlands, or Holland! Amsterdam is the well-known capital city, but we wandered a little further North to check out the famous Dutch cheese market at Alkmaar. We are all hungry after our long flight, and a round of the best gouda sounds delicious! But we were in for a surprise! Alkmaar has a thousand little streets and alleys to entice the artist, foodie, tourist and architect. Here you can stand on the little drawbridges and watch them part ways for the glass encased tourist boats gliding by. If the odd and unusual, rather than the mainstream tour guide, is your travel incentive, then be sure to check out Alkmaar's lesser known claim to fame: the gum wall.
Whatever you decide to do in this charming little town nestled between the colorful canals, do not forget to go to the cheese shop and stock up. Our personal favorite; the tart and salty two year aged block. Our resident foodie recommends this cheese on toast with butter and fresh strawberries... trust us!
Dubai is a glamourous city. The airport glistens with lights, and the city beckons each guest to come and enjoy the ultimate in elegance. FORUS took the metro to the Dubai Mall and then walked to the splendor of the Burj Khalifa. At night, little dots of flashing red and white lights twinkle all over the black-onyx-like tower. What a sight!! In the air you can smell the sea, and the wind kicks up whirlwinds of dust everywhere. The streets sparkle all night with flashing ice-cycle lights.
For all endurance runners in Dubai, or traveling through, the Dubai Desert Road Run on October 6, 2012 is a great way to meet people who share your passion for running. Of course, that is not the only event offered. Be sure to check out other websites like Dubai Running for alternative dates and events to connect with people in the Dubai community!
While the United States of America has begun to reduce the size, scope and mission of its space program, other countries consider breaking into the last frontier. Say hello to the African Space Research Program. Right here in Uganda, the African Space Program has begun the first African mission to go to the moon. WOW!! What a big task, you might say! And FORUS agrees! We know what it's like to stand against a multitude of obstacles and challenges, and sometimes wonder if its possible. We learned that it absolutely is! So, we had to come out to ASRP to say "hi", share our stories of challenges and successes and celebrate reaching the milestones. We are here to banish the status quo, and show our support to those who rise to the challenge. Go African Space Research Program!! Someday soon, FORUS can go with you to the moon!
This summer, FORUS is excited to see many of our members and friends depart for exciting adventures. Inspired by these investments of time and energy, FORUS is going on an adventure too! At FORUS we know that relaxation is important to a healthy lifestyle, but we also know that hard work pays off. So, FORUS is globetrotting this summer to highlight the balmy beaches, and the gritty cities. We will focus on great vacation spots, and people working hard to improve our global community. As with all adventures, we are never quite sure where we will end up, but we hope you will join us as we share what it means to be FORUS.
"What if one step towards making our world a better place did not require an individual to donate but simply make a choice."