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Travel, trains, and perpetual motion

There is most certainly something about trains. Perpetual motion. I am wrapping up a trip to the United States for work (New York), friends (New Jersey) and family (Long Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio). Rather than succumb to the malaise of domestic air travel, I decided to take the train from New York to Pittsburgh and now find myself returning the same way. 

I lurch through the Pennsylvania mountains and farther and farther away from family. I feel my normal reservations emerge, my adult identity begins to reconstitute itself with each passing mile. I am no longer with my young nephew, my brother, sisters, parents. I will have a few more days with my father-in-law in Long Island before returning to Seoul via JFK. I will see my wife and I will be myself again, even though I was myself in all these places as well. Just a different kind of self. 

I have slept in six different places, will have traveled close to 16,000 miles once this journey is complete, and have taken almost every conceivable form of transportation. A good journey and one that is drawing to a close. Many thanks to everyone for their hospitality. I am not sure when I can get back, but here is hoping that it is sooner rather than later.

I am never so happy as I am when in motion. I have pictures to prove it

New York: March 2012

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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