Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reality, Meet Fiction: Transportation

So, this past week, I was blessed to be able to volunteer for the largest gathering of youth in my church denomination. Imagine 25,000 youth singing, getting no sleep, doing service projects, getting dehydrated, worshiping God, smelling terrible, and having a blast, and you have a good idea of what the event was like. My job was to make sure said 25,000 youth didn't run over each other as they filed into the stadium to worship each evening.

But, to get to the host city, I first rode on a bus for 21 hours with 45 strangers and 1 person I knew. Which brings us to today's subject: Transportation.

The wonderful group of volunteers I worked with!


There are thousands of ways we travel in reality: bus, train, plane, walking, bicycle, trolley, skiing, boats...and you're probably aware of more than I could think to bring up in this article. 

Each mode of transportation has different advantages and disadvantages. I chose to take a 21 hour bus ride because it was less expensive than flying, I would be riding with other people going to the youth gathering (even though they were strangers), and because I don't have the patience for airport security. The downside was the travel time and discomfort of being on a bus for that long. 

Transportation methods have their limitations. I couldn't take a bus from North America to Australia, for instance. (Even though I would love to visit the wonderful Victoria Jackson, who was kind enough to guest post for me while I was gone last week). It's hard to take a boat when the lake's frozen over. 


Why do your characters choose to travel the way they do in your story? Is one of them a wanted person, so they can't go through airport security? Is one afraid of water and refuses to take a boat? Are finances an issue? Are certain classes of people forbidden from using particular means of transportation?

If your world has individual transportation (like cars), is a licensing process required? How rigorous is it? Does it have an awful test like maneuverability that many people flunk? (Glares at whoever decided maneuverability was a good test to devise). Are there fees that limit operation to the rich? Are certain physical capabilities, such as reflex speed, considered? How does this exclude people from using this form of transport?

Like space travel, are only a few people trained in some form of transport? Are certain types of travel particularly desirable jobs to hold? Are some undesirable? What are the dangers associated with each form of travel?

Are certain means of transportation limited by weather or geographical region? Are some types of transport culturally significant? (Perhaps used in burial rituals).

What's your favorite way to travel? 

I'd love it if you'd answer the poll in the right-hand column. I'm trying to see where else I should post my reviews. Thanks in advance!

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