The joys of commuting!

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My daily journey to and from work is a few minutes shy of four hours.  Most days I do not give it much thought at all – just get on with it.  On the odd day when I am utterly exhausted I can throw a bit of a pity party. Surprisingly nobody turns up!

I have made this journey for 8.5 years, well 6.5 years if you discount my maternity leave x2. In the mornings I am bouncy and full of life as my 20 minute stroll to the station wakes me up. Come the evening I am grateful for a seat on the train, any seat (except those situated directly outside the public toilet for reasons I do not need to explain).

Ever since I left secondary school (high school), I have always travelled at least an hour to college, university and places of work. I guess I like the idea of having a clear divide between work and home.  

I usually accuse my husband of being over optimistic but here I am with my tablet and mobile phone intending to do something worthwhile and my eyes close from tiredness every so often. On opening my eyes I have a quick look around on the train and wonder if anyone saw me – my eyes fluttering and my head falling forward!

Having established my productive mode is in the morning and very late evening, I set tasks for myself at these times. For example this blog is being typed early hours of the morning and I honestly feel I am on a roll. 

For those of you who have long commutes, I suggest you make it work for you until your situation changes.  Aim to use your time constructively whether to work on a project, read a book leisurely or for studying or simply to reflect. I guarantee this will ensure your commute is more bearable.

We cannot always change our situation but we can change our mindset and approach towards it.

How long is your commute? 

What do you do with your time assuming you travel by bus/train/coach? 

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22 thoughts on “The joys of commuting!”

  1. When I lived in New Orleans, I rode the world-famous St. Charles Streetcar to my teaching job. My total commute time (to and from) was a little under an hour, and for the most part that time wasn’t spent productively because
    (a) I’m not a morning person and was still waking up somewhat during the morning ride to work whereas
    (b) I was pretty zonked out at the end of the day and during the ride home.
    If you are thinking, “It sounds as though you would have had trouble with a longer commute,” well, you would be right about that.

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  2. I joke with people that my arduous commute is walking from one side of the house to the other. I definitely don’t miss commuting. When I taught, the drive always took 25 minutes both way. It was in farmland, so traffic was never an issue. I couldn’t handle much more than a half hour in either direction. In some ways that’s enough time to gear up and also unwind.

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  3. Commute is a very tiresome project. For me it is about 1 hour there, but also I own a house away from where I work, So on the weekend, I have another 4 hour trip (one way) to go there.
    Does not leave much time for stuff.

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  4. OMG, Phoenicia! I simply cannot imagine a commute of nearly 4 hours per day, as I work at home. I’m in my office in just 2 minutes! It is indeed wonderful that you can enjoy your tablet (and a possible snooze) while you commute.

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  5. 2 hours is definitely a long commute. I’m glad you’ve found ways to make it productive. Traffic where I live is just awful. Pretty much everyone is in bumper to bumper traffic for their entire commute. And the traffic is so bad, that even if I’m not commuting, I won’t get in my car within certain hours if I can help it. I can’t really use my time for anything else other than to drive. so I listen to music and try to relax But I remember I used to try to get quite a bit done back in NYC when I took the subway or walked everywhere.

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  6. Oh boy, Phoenicia, does this post explain why you most likely thought we were nuts for not traveling around London to see you in May. I deplore commuting and have limited my drive times to around 20 minutes. The times I’ve had an hour commute have been my unhappiest. Of course, I am talking driving here and not public transportation. I don’t know how I would feel about using a train/subway to cover the distance.

    What I can say is that I admire you for spending that amount of time commuting. I could not do a 4 hour commute. Like ever. I’d have to move close to my job. I am a commuting wimp!

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  7. Hi Phoenicia,

    Your post reminded me of my engineering days when i used to wake up early morning to travel 2 hours each back and forth.

    Reaching college we were more energetic returning back was when we used to fell the exhaustion.

    Every coin has two sides, so was those days where in the travel hours we met new people who in long run became friends.
    While travel we used to mostly read books and articles, those foundations have made me who i am today.

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  8. Sincerely admire you for commuting four hours a day. That takes a lot of determination. You are doing the right thing to use the time to be as productive as you can on the train, or just enjoy an interesting book.

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  9. I’m retired so I’m not commuting anymore but before that I had a 30 minute train ride, followed by a 10 minute subway trip into New York City. I found the train ride to be somewhat relaxing, at least when it wasn’t overcrowded. I would read a the newspaper in the morning and a book on the way out. I tried not to look at my phone or laptop as I considered this disconnect time, which is partly why it was relaxing. Before that I had about a 10-year period when I walked to work. Nothing beats that.

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  10. Wow, that’s a long commute. I work from home the majority of the time and my clients are no more than 40 minutes away when I do need to go out once a week. Since I have to drive, I usually listen to a short podcast or just enjoy the drive. Good for you for maximizing your time.

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