Commuting

My commute to work used to be 10 minutes by car. Now, it takes me about 35 minutes. If this were the GTA, 35 minutes would be merely peanuts. But in the Kingston area, 35 minutes often means you’re in a whole other world.

There are definitely pros and cons to this arrangement. Let me outline a few of them.

Pro: I get to listen to podcasts.
This was probably the thing that excited me most about my longer commute. I am terribly behind in my podcast queue and this has helped.

Con: The gas.
I used to fill up maybe twice a month. Now I fill up about twice a week.

Pro: The drive is scenic.
About 15 minutes of my drive is in town/on the highway. The remaining 20 minutes is straight up a county road until I get to my school. I slow down exactly two times, as I pass through two small towns. Only one of those towns requires me to stop at a stop sign.

Con: I get sleepy sometimes.
35 minutes is not an insignificant amount of time. One morning, I was really tired driving in, and to make sure I made it to school alive, I had to stop at a country store to pick up a shot of caffeine. I found it in the form of a Starbucks frappucino drink. It was mostly sugar.

It’s only been two weeks, but the drive is starting to grow on me. I find myself becoming more familiar with the landmarks I pass, and I’m starting to be able to list off the roads that come and go.  I pass the same black Q5 on my way to and from work (they head in the opposite direction), and occasionally I find myself right behind my colleagues who are also driving from town. I look forward to driving up the hill to the school parking lot and to walking down the hall to my little corner of the school. This is my new normal.

Random aside: we have the most amazing schoolyard.

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Commuting

When I was little, my dad endured daily the hour or so commute from our home in Markham to his work in Brampton. His situation improved a little when he started working for the City of Toronto and was able to take the GO down to Union Station. Now, he has the luxury of working a few minutes from home, entirely bikeable, mostly walkable, and definitely close enough for a quick nap at home if need be during an hour-long lunch break.

Now that I am all grown up and working a job of my very own, I find myself mulling over this thing called the commute. I am lucky enough in my current situation to be able to bike to one of my workplaces, and though I could definitely bike to some of my supply calls, I continue to choose arriving by car over arriving a hot mess. Over the past year or so, I have met a wealth of wonderful people through work. One of the things I love most about chatting with my co-workers is learning where they’re from and where they live. It never ceases to amaze me how far some of the staff have travelled. When I ask them about their choices, it almost always comes down to the same thing – they love where they live, and work where they need, and it’s all about priorities.

I never thought I would be someone who could commute long(ish) distances to work, but my weekly commute to the Napanee area is starting to change my perception. Yesterday, I took my first ever supply call for the Napanee area, and I was able to make it there and back in under half an hour, happy as a clam. I still cannot fathom driving upwards of an hour, unlike these super commuters, but I might begin to consider something outside of the immediate Kingston area.

How long of a commute is too long for you?