U.S.: This travel insider offers a peek behind the scenes of the Amtrak Auto Train

By Andrea Sachs, The Washington Post, The Alton Telegraph; December 26, 2019

Somewhere north of Orlando, Florida, and south of Georgia, Sylvia Longmire rotates her right forearm to reveal 15 rows of three-letter abbreviations inked onto her skin. I’d first glimpsed the tattoo while we were waiting to board the Amtrak Auto Train in Sanford, Florida. Several hours later, with nowhere to go and not much to see, I ask her for a closer look.

The tattoo, she explains, is a log of her travels written in International Standard country code, such as CUB for Cuba and PRY for Paraguay. She then redirects my gaze to the arm of her wheelchair, which is covered in tiny flags. The stickers represent the nations she has visited since trading in a cane for the chair 5 1/2 years – and 49 countries – ago. “I get twitchy if I’m home too long,” says the 45-year-old Florida native, a former Air Force officer who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005.

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