I'm a freelance writer who enjoys travel & culture.Enjoy more writings from me by visiting my blog at www.wandersoftheworld.net
Published April 27th 2011
On a bored weekend with absolutely nothing to do, there is always one fun little thing I love to do: boarding the RTJ: Random Train Journey.
The concept of RTJ, Random Train Journey, is quite simple, just hop on a train and get off at any random station that you would just not even think about getting off at. It's possibly stupid, but it's definitely a great way to explore the hidden secrets of modern suburbia.
It must've been when I was in high school when I heard this term. I was talking to some girls and a conversation about which area of Melbourne I lived at. I mentioned my area to the girls and they said to me 'oh yeah we've been to the shopping centre there'. I was stunned because to be honest, there isn't that much in that local shopping centre in comparison to the shopping centres of their area. Enquiring them on why they were there at my local shopping centre, it was then when I informed about the concept of the RTJ. Ever since that day, I have embraced the idea of boarding the RTJ and have found that it really does provide an interesting way to spend your day off.
When I lived abroad, I decided to use this concept to my advantage as it was a great way to experience the real country and also finding the little secrets that you don't read about in travel guides. I remember taking the RTJ in Taiwan which ended with me discovering a café that was directly opposite to the runway of the local Airport. Seeing all those planes arriving and departing while I was having my coffee was such a pleasant experience. I would have never found this amazing hidden secret if I hadn't encouraged my curiosity with the RTJ.
Speaking from my own personal experiences, simply boarding the RTJ was a great experience. I can't say it will be enjoyable for all of you, however if you are open to any ideas and feel comfortable with going with flow of thing on a lazy weekend afternoon, then by all means, be adventurous and explore. Open your mind to all the opportunities that surround us. Board the RTJ and feed you curiosity.
I agree, its a great way to explore places you wouldnt normally choose to visit. Also great for country train trips.
By ozrene - reader Saturday, 12th of May @ 10:50 pm
A cheaper alternative is the TBJ- Terminal Bus Journey. No matter how far you go on a bus in London, you're capped at £4.20 for a day, and they cover a massive network. I never would have discovered the "delights" of Penge, if not for deciding to take the 176 to its last stop. Some of the bus routes have brilliant names as their last stop- Whipps Cross, Cricklewood, all sorts to be discovered!
By EmmaA - reader Thursday, 17th of May @ 11:08 am
I've been doing these for years and so long as there's no YWS's (Yobs Who Swear) on board it can be great fun. I have found some delightful little cafes in places I've only ever glanced at in the street directory. My favourite with my son here in Sydney is to find new trips which combine a bus, train and ferry. Last one we did was bus to Palm Beach, ferry across to Patonga, bus to Woy Woy and train home.
By john5 - reader Thursday, 31st of May @ 02:38 am
In Sydney on a Sunday there is family fun day Pass for $2.50 per person and you can take any state rail train, bus or ferry so we often take the kids out for a ferry ride or catch the train into town. Good clean fun!
By sarah377 - reader Thursday, 31st of May @ 03:49 am
My husband and I have started taking Smart bus trips in Melbourne, all it costs us is a maximum of $3.60 with our concession Myki card. We have found some great places as far away from Mill Park as Chelsea, a fantastic beach and plenty of shops to browse. We also get free weekend travel with our Seniors card so there are plenty of places to explore.
By janef - reader Monday, 13th of August @ 09:15 pm
My kids (5 & 7) have discovered train travel, so we might give this a go. I did the RTJ when I was at TAFE, last century! Before I had to do the train commute every day and the novelty wore off. Will have to re-learn the spirit of adventure with an RTJ with the kids I think.
By kerry - reader Monday, 14th of January @ 11:16 pm
not quite random - but we did get on the wrong direction bus in London - and ended up at Hampstead Heath discovering and visiting my favourite poet Keats' house - that was nice.
By ultim - reader Tuesday, 23rd of July @ 07:55 am
RRC (Random Restaurant Choice) is also a great way to try different eateries (mainly in Melbourne). From any starting point choose two numbers and right or left. The first number indicates which street, from where you are standing, that you will turn into. Left or right indicates whether you turn left or right (if there is an option). The second number indicates the restaurant/cafe/deli/bistro you will try.
By hbee - reader Thursday, 5th of January @ 12:05 am
Love this concept. I've never heard of it before but it's a great idea. Will have to try it in Sydney some time.
By Irenke Forsyth - senior reviewer Thursday, 11th of January @ 09:09 pm