We have discussed air travel and sea travel, but there are some very interesting travel experiences using wheels.

Train rides are fun. And, interestingly enough, railroad companies are providing more and more destinations for you to consider.

Remember, that you always have the option of getting off the train, spending some time at an intermediate destination and getting back on a future train to continue your journey.

A train can combine the flexibility of an automobile trip, while, at the same time, leave the driving to someone else.

There is also something relaxing and even “romantic” about train travel. Think about the Orient Express, the Twentieth Century Limited and all the other trains available in the olden days and how seeing those in the movies bring back many fond memories.

Then, there is the bus. Unfortunately, buses have developed a bad reputation. While it is true that a bus ticket is usually significantly less expensive than an airline, ship or train ticket and has become the travel of choice for people who cannot afford anything else, there are some advantages to consider the “lowly” bus.

They have become modern, comfortable, clean and flexible when planning a trip.

Some of them are downright luxurious. Consider it as a good alternative.

This brings us to the automobile. Has there been a more important invention regarding our daily activities? There may be some equal, but certainly not greater.

I enjoy horses and even riding on them, but not to go to Houston to see a play, much less simply getting back and forth from work. In fact, we have become so dependent on a car it has become indispensable.

And, what with all the cost increases in travel, considering using a car for this purpose has always been and will continue to be a reasonable alternative.

There are many advantages I could list. But, for a few, gasoline is still cheaper than an airline ticket.

Packing takes on a much simpler process than trying to put everything you need in suitcases. Your travel timetable is completely under your control, including avoiding rush hour in the big cities. You can stop anywhere and everywhere you please. You don’t have to worry about your noisy kids disturbing anyone but you.

You can yell at them and tell them that “if they aren’t quiet and stop fighting, you are going to stop the car and throw them out. And, finally, you can visit places an airplane, ship or train cannot.

So, there are a large number of choices available to you that utilize wheels. I encourage you to consider them in your travel plans and don’t develop the mindset that the only type of trip you can enjoy requires an airplane.

Consider all alternatives including planes, ships, trains, buses and cars and use all of them for your travel desires.

Finally, lest any of you, my loyal readers, don’t see the relationship of this column to your health, I suggest there is no better way to retain or regain your mental health than a vacation, with or without travel.

The big risk, of course, is you may love it so much you might end up retiring early or quitting work all together.

Dr. Michael M. Warren is Ashbel Smith professor of surgery at University of Texas Medical Branch Division of Urology. Write him at michael.warren@galvnews.com.

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