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Things I Won’t Miss #1: Commuting | The Time to Go Is Now

Things I Won’t Miss #1: Commuting

Things I Won’t Miss #1: Commuting

At some point next year I’ll be folded into the seat of a minibus that was designed for someone a foot shorter than me getting ready for a 6 hour non-air-conditioned drive over a jungle mountain wishing I was in my car instead. But that’s not going to stop me from complaining about commuting in relative comfort.

Commuter Photo
35? On an interstate?

I realize that someone from Indianapolis complaining about traffic seems a bit ridiculous, but let’s be clear. There are two types of traffic congestion: Gridlock and Stupid. Gridlock is when too many cars try to occupy a finite amount of space at the same time. No amount of heads up, focused & courteous driving is going to make things move any faster on the Dan Ryan at peak rush hour. There are simply too many cars trying to go to the same place at the same time.  This is the kind of traffic you get in large cities. Indianapolis doesn’t have much of this.

Stupid on the other hand is when things could move better but don’t because of choice or apathy. The thing is these backups happen in the same place every day. What drives me nuts is when you think about this and really get down to the numbers, most people drive the same route to work every day or at the least, most days. Sure, there are people returning from appointments or just passing through, but most of the people around you do this every single day. And they’ve probably been doing it for several years. Lab rats eventually learn to not touch the electrified metal post. Humans on the other hand…

The thing is I love driving. My parents grounded me the first day I got my driver’s license because I left the house and I didn’t come back for hours.

“Where the hell have you been?”


Unfortunately commuting takes all of the fun and adventure out of driving and not just because it involves going to work. You already know where you’re going and even if there are some fun bits of road you rarely get to enjoy them. Sometimes you can use the time constructively. I’ll dictate notes for work which are always fun to transcribe later:

“We can probably have this project done by June if we can allocate the right amount of IT’S CALLED A TURN SIGNAL MOT^&$(*#CKER resources and can stick to the timeline….”

But even if you can use the time well or have a radio show you enjoy it is still time you aren’t getting back. An hour a day you could be using for something else. I wonder how many people out there spend more time a year commuting than on vacation. We have the technology, at some point people will start embracing the work from home mentality. If you can stay productive it saves money, time, gas and sanity.  I work from home one day a week currently. Was able to do 3-4 days a week at my previous job. I’m interested to see how things go when I have no permanent office or home.

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We're Mark & Julie

We quit our jobs at the end of 2013 to backpack around the world. We're sharing our stories, travel advice and hopefully some inspiration. Read more...

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