Editor’s note: This article was published before the coronavirus pandemic, and may not reflect the current situation on the ground.

In 2010, Monisha Rajesh left London to travel around India by train. Hooked on the railways, she then traveled across the globe to write her second book, Around The World In 80 Trains. She talks to Meera Dattani about her seven-month voyage.

It’s no small feat traveling some 72,000 kilometers around the world by train—that’s almost twice the circumference of the earth. But that’s what writer Monisha Rajesh decided to do, her appetite whet by her travels around India by train back in 2010.

Leaving London’s St Pancras station with just the essentials, and her fiancé, Jem, she embarked on a seven-month journey that would encompass classic rail routes—such as the Trans-Mongolian—as well as new-fangled locomotives like the Japanese bullet trains.

The result is Around The World In 80 Trains, an ode to train travel and a love letter to the diversity of the world we live in— if only we can slow down enough to appreciate it.