The adventurous commute
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Few activies dredge up more depressing images than the commute. The very meaning of the word is a downer: “regular travel between one’s place of residence and place of work” In other words, It’s sole purpose is to get you to work. And, worse than that, it’s something you have to repeat ad nauseum.
If you spend 40 minutes commuting each day (roughly the UK average) then that will add up to about 10,080 minutes over the course of a year. That’s 168 hours sat in traffic or waiting for a seat on the train.
Or, to put it another way, every year of your life you may be giving up an entire week travelling to and from work. This, potentially, is a very depressing thought.
Or is it?
Doing the same journey every day may be boring but no one says it has to be that way. You may still have to get from A to B but there are no rules on how you go about doing so.
This month, even if on just a single morning, make your commute an adventure.
● Take a new route – Simple. Dig out a map or load one up online and plot a different journey to your work place; follow your sat nav (even if you’re walking/cycling) no matter where it takes you; or try a different bus/train combination.
● Walk/run/cycle to work – If you normally drive then try cycling. If you normally cycle or walk then run instead. If you think it’s too far then get in training now, set your alarm an hour or three earlier and remember that this isn’t supposed to be a practical replacement for your regular commute, it’s a one off and an adventure. (We even know a guy who managed to swim to work along the coast).
● Slow down, go sightseeing – What interesting places do you pass on your way to work? Or, more to the point, what interesting places do you miss every single day as you pass by in an early morning mental fug? Take it easy. Go slow. Look around you and see life from the other side of the street. Leave earlier and embrace your journey as an experience not a drag.
● Make it fun – Just because it’s an adventure, it doesn’t have to be an endurance test (unless you like that kind of thing). Make it fun by getting a friend or colleague to join you or by treating yourself to a new book for the train, album on the MP3 player or coffee and croissant on the way.
Even as I write this I can anticipate some knee-jerk reactions against the idea. Let me try to preempt any nay-saying…
● You already know the best way? – I am sure you do but this is not about efficiency, this is an adventure. The aim is to turn the commute, just once, from a necessity into a pleasure.
● You don’t have time in the morning? Yes you do, you’re just sleeping when it goes by. Sure, it’s already a traumatic experience when the alarm goes off at the normal time but who ever achieved anything great without first putting in a little hard work? It’s a one off. Get out of bed and get going. (Or, I suppose, you could stay in bed and have the adventure on your way home…).
● There’s only one bus/train/road/cycle lane? Get off the bus a stop early. Walk to the next railway station from home. Deliberately drive the wrong way and see where you end up. Ride your bike on the road, run it along the pavement, find a dirt track or a field to cross. Use your imagination!
Do whatever you can to have an adventure on your way to work and let us know how you get on. (The only rule is that you need to arrive on time).
This article was written by Tim Moss (Berghaus Everyday Adventurer November 2013) from www.thenextchallenge.org
Let us know what you get up to by commenting below, on the Berghaus Facebook page or replying to @TheRealBerghaus on Twitter using the hashtag #berghausadventure.
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