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The Night Train From New York

I recently traveled from New York to Charleston and took the night train- a long standing dream of mine. I’ve always liked traveling by train and I especially liked the idea of having a sleeper car for my overnight trip.

Overall, I loved it! The sleeper was really cute and very comfortable; dining with 3 other solo travelers was fun and interesting; I had time to catch up on a bit of reading; and my porter was very helpful and courteous, even at 4:40 in the morning.

My sleeper on board the Silver Meteor Train. Living room, bedroom, bathroom and closet all in one!

But even though I loved my trip and would consider going again, it fell short of amazing because I was stressed many times on my journey all because of the lack of information.

What didn’t I know about traveling on the Silver Meteor

  • I was stressed when I arrived at Penn Station and the station did not look like a train station. Was I in the right place?
  • Then I saw the monitors did not have any information about the departure track for my train. I eventually realized they only announced the track as they called for boarding.
  • Later, when I wanted to go to bed, I was stressed because I could not read the impossibly tiny illustrations mounted at knee height on how to convert my seats to a bed in two easy steps. I had to call my porter who took way more than 2 steps to convert the seats!
  • Lastly, I set my alarm for 4:40, so I would be ready to disembark at Charleston at 5 am. I knew the porter would help me, but no one told me the train is usually late and my very tired porter was not happy that I woke him needlessly early. In fact we did not get into Charleston until almost 6:30.

So while I really did enjoy my trip, I wished I had loved everything about it. They sent my tickets by email; why couldn’t they include a pamphlet with a few helpful tips? I would’ve had less stress and a lot more fun!

 The Aha Moment!

And then it hit me….I bet there are many people who engage an architect, who enjoy almost all of the experience but not as much as they could have…because they didn’t have enough information to avoid moments of stress!

What does your Architect need to tell you?

If you want to enjoy the whole experience, I think you need the following information from your Architect:

  • What is the road map for the whole the design process
  • At the end of each meeting, what happens next and how long will it take
  • Your responsibilities in the process
  • How you will select a builder
  • How you will get the right information at the right time so you can make the best decision for you at each decision point
  • What are the possible issues that may affect the process

So ask your Architect for information. It will help you enjoy the ride….and it will help everything run smoother because you won’t have to needlessly wake the porter at 4:40 am!