For many people, commuting is the worst part of their day. Unreliable trains, heavy traffic, the British weather – all these can increase stress levels and put us in the worst of moods before the working day has even begun.
There is, however, a secret movement out there. A group of people who arrive at work with a smile on their faces. For this group, the commute is an adventure – something to look forward to and, even better, something you get to repeat at the other end of the day.
I’m talking about those who ditch the car / train / bus and arrive at work under their own steam.
Now, I appreciate there are some of you reading this who will be tutting at your screens and saying “yes that’s all well and good but I live 30 miles away from work. I’m not Bradley Wiggins and can’t cycle a 60 mile round trip every day”. Here’s the secret – you don’t have to…
The trick is to incorporate some adventure into only part of your commute. My way of doing this was to invest in a folding bike. I would drive most of the way to work but park (for free) on the outskirts of town, just before the traffic started to build. I could then get the bike out and finish off my journey on two wheels. I’d arrive with a smile on my face and would beat most of my colleagues who had been sitting in their steel boxes.
The money I saved from not parking in the city more than paid for the cost of the bike in only a few months and you won’t need a gym membership if you are on the bike every day.
What about walking a bit more? Get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the last half hour. Find a more exciting route in, away from the crowds. Leave your work shoes in the office and wear trainers – that way you can move a bit faster and increase the heart rate. You’ll get fit in no time at all.
The beauty of this approach is you can tailor it. If it’s a nice summer’s day, you could park a bit further away and increase the mileage using your legs. Anything goes – it’s all about having an adventure in that hour either side of your working day to get you away from sitting indoors and being miserable.
I genuinely loved my commute and looked forward to it every day. You even learn to embrace obstacles such as bad weather, as it’s an excuse to buy some shiny new kit and turn the journey into a proper adventure. Arriving at work soaked to the skin with a huge grin on your face will win you the admiration of your colleagues.
As a boss, I’d certainly be more impressed by someone who arrived at work muddy and happy, than someone in a pristine suit but seething inside because they had to stand on the train, again. In fact, I’d go one step further in my fantasy office and reward those who had the most exciting commute. Evening gondola ride anyone?
So, what are you going to do to spice up your commute?