The Extreme Cross-Country Trip of a Lifetime!

Cross-country trips will teach you a lot about yourself–and your relationship with your travel partner. For Jenni and her husband, Matt, a 45-day USA Rail Pass used to travel across America is just what brought them closer.

Matt in Observation Car

To say they love trains is an understatement: In 2011, they were married in the Norman, Okla., train station.

However, in 2012, the recession made it hard for Jenni and her husband, a newly minted lawyer, to find a job. They were going stir crazy and decided that a cross-country trip could be done on a budget. They called friends and family they hadn’t seen in decades.

Traversing the U.S. in 45 days and making 18 stops proved a huge success. “We got to relax, play games, nap, see the observation deck, and visit friends and family,” Jenni says “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

In California, on the Pacific SurflinerJenni fulfilled her dream of going down Highway 101 and embraced its beauty without worrying about other cars on the road. “We got to see slices of America that are so precious, and you don’t get to see them  the same way when you’re in a car,” Jenni says. Another pit stop in Albuquerque, NM, brought her husband closer to his Native American roots.

Jenni & Matt on the TrainEventually, they stopped in Norman, where they originally took their vows. “It was cool to come back,” she says. In Texas, they stopped in Dallas and Austin. Before heading to Austin, though, Jenni reached out to the couple behind the blog Married with Luggage. They’ve been friends since that epic trip in 2012.

In addition to helping them make new friends, the trip also brought Matt some good luck. A little after their journey on Amtrak ended, Jenni’s husband was hired as a lawyer in Wisconsin.

Today, that trip is still close to the duo’s heart and a train’s whistle is sure to make them smile.  “The sound is nostalgic to us!” she says.

 What long-distance trips have you taken? Tell us in the comments below!


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