I start the majority of my posts with hello. But I never know how else to begin…
Today I would like to offer my pros and cons of commuting. I’ve been commuting to work for about 4 years. And I commuted to Uni for 3 years before that. I like to think that in 7 years I have basically become something of an expert.
- Reading: Your commute might be 2 hours. Or it might be 15 minutes like mine. But either way, that time is yours. I do almost all my reading on the train because I get distracted at home. I’ll get settled down to read and someone will shout, wanting something. Or there’s something on TV. Or I’ll just check twitter… My commute is a great excuse to get lost in a good book.
- Listening: But not TOO loud. Nobody wants to be that person. But also, nobody wants to have to listen to those boring women over there talking about how they have ‘brought pasta salad for lunch…’ Again! You can listen to a podcast, an audiobook, the relaxing sound of the sea or just a cheery song to try and boost your mood. It’s worth it.
- Catching up on your texting: I am not brilliant at texting back. I like to use the commute to go through my inbox and see if there’s anyone that I’ve forgotten to get back to.
- Making lists: I love to make lists on the train. Whether it’s my to-do list for the day or my dream pay-day shopping list, spending a few minutes making a list is either a great way to make your brain feel a little more organised or to have a little fantasy about what life would be like if you weren’t on this darn train!
- Researching stuff: If you have a smart phone or tablet device you carry around and your commute is WiFi enabled, this is a great opportunity to get some research done. Where you’re going to go on your next holiday. What bank account you should move to. How to make creme brûlée for that dinner party you’re hosting. Or… You could just go on Pinterest…
- Making up stories: If you have forgotten all those items above you can always just make up stories about your fellow commuters. This is especially good if you have regular fellow travellers because the stories can evolve over time.
- No traffic jams: Yes you get delays and leaves on the line but you don’t have to sit in rush your traffic. You can just sit back and let someone else do the driving so you can get on with a selection of the above!
- LOUD MUSIC: I know I mentioned this above but this is genuinely the most annoying thing. I don’t want to listen to your tinny leaking music.
- Loud phone calls: Can you see a theme? I appreciate that we all have to make phone calls on the commute sometimes, but please try and conduct them at a sensible volume.
- Other people’s dirty laundry: Okay, we’ve established sensible volume conversations are fine. But I don’t need to know about your divorce, and who is getting custody of the child, and and how “You’re not getting an #%*$?@*? penny! You’re not even on the mortgage you $*?€&”
- Irritating children: Ooo controversial. I know you need to travel with your child and I am mostly fine with this but sometimes you just wish the would Sit Down And Shut Up. I’m a horrible person. Deal with it.
- Jam packed trains: Or a single decker bus when what you really need is a double. Sometimes you have to decide whether it really is worth cramming onto that sweat box or if you should just wait for the next one. How desperate are you to get home?
- Getting home at the other end: So I get off my train and I’m home free! Nope. I have another 20 minute walk. If I drove in I could just pull up at my house, or even better if I lived near enough to walk I would just stroll home without having already done one journey.
Basically, my top tips are to try and enjoy it. If you get on the train/bus expecting to have a rubbish journey then you will. But if you look at it as an opportunity the you can really get a lot out of these minutes. Sure, you’d like a job that was around the corner but that’s not how the world works. What you need to do is make the most of what you’ve got. So plug your headphones in, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Love Charlotte x