What Is Commuting (and Why Are You Still Doing It)?

How Did We All Get Here?

Two years before I quit teaching, it required herculean effort to motivate myself out of bed, into the car, and down the road for my 34 minute commute.

I know that 32 minutes may sound pretty wonderful for some of you. While it was a pretty drive, a commute is a commute. What is Commuting (and Why Are You Still Doing It)? will explain it all. See what you think!

The Distant Past

There was one year, when I was moving from one school district to another, that I was driving over two hours in the morning to get to my new school, and over three to get home.

I was in southern California at the time, and by the time I left school for the day, I was part of the San Diego/Orange counties rush hour traffic. I did that for one whole semester, until our new house was ready to move into.

It was a true misery. My sympathies to those of you who face this sort of thing year in and year out.

The Recent Past

My most recent commute took 34 minutes one way, and was down a winding, two-lane country road. There weren’t a lot of commuters on this road, but quantity was replaced by quality.

The lanes were barely wide enough for the variety of vehicles that used it. You could count on a collection of:

  • sedans,
  • SUVs
  • Pickups
  • large service vehicles used by the utilities
  • tri-axle dump trucks, like the Kenworth T800
  • the occasional 18 wheeler, oh my gosh
  • school buses

Because of the nature of my commute, the school buses and I were usually headed in the same direction. But, there were plenty of the other big boys heading in the opposite direction, and sometimes, right toward me.

The trick was to just move as far to the right as possible. It was a trick, because at some parts of the road that was nearly impossible. With the constant damp, rain, snow, and freezing conditions, sometimes the last six to eight inches that used to be the edge of the road was just a crumble of uselessness.

Most of this drive was through a narrow hollow. There’s a great little page on Wikipedia that tells you it’s pronounced holler in the southern part of the U.S. They define it as a small valley between mountains. That’s pretty accurate.

There is usually less than a foot between a vehicle and the side of the mountain going into one curve, and about that much space between the road edge as the road curves back into the opposite direction.

Too far off the edge would send a vehicle down a good size drop into the creek below. It happened occasionally, and was a very real fear. Except for the occasional driveway, or side road to turn into, there were no escapes from oncoming traffic.

A Game Changer

Sometime during the last year I was commuting, the number of dump trucks on the road increased from one or two to sometimes up to half a dozen in one direction. Someone was doing extensive work, and these guys would blast, fully-loaded, down this little back road.

The speed limit was 55, and they did that and a bit more. I’m assuming they were paid by the number of runs they could make in a day, and every minute counted. It was white-knuckle time when meeting one of these guys on a blind curve.

As scary as the dump trucks were, the pickups were worse. One in particular had a driver who would come around blind curves straddling the yellow line. Over a period of a few months, I faced this challenge two to three mornings a week.

Dude, Give Me a Break

I drove a small sedan, and his raised F150, taking up half of my lane, was my version of Stephen King’s Christine.  Well, not exactly.  But, you get what I mean!

I fantasized about who was driving and what his or her problem was.

I had two favorites. One centered around this person’s fear of the road, the raised pickup, or both. The second had me convinced that this person just didn’t like the car I was driving and wanted to run me over the edge.

Toward the end, I had a camera mounted on the windshield so the authorities would know who had taken me out. Since there was very little else I could do, it made me feel better.

The Last 12 Minutes

The last 12 minutes of the drive generally went from hair-raising to a test of patience. Turning out onto the well-maintained state highway presented a new challenge. But, that’s another story.

Where’s This Going?

Why did I tell you about my drive? Because, I’m guessing that if you read this far, you have a commute you’d like to drop kick to the curb too.

I asked at the top of the page what commuting is. From my experience, it’s a soul-destroying waste of time.

Why Are You Still Doing It?

If you’re like most folks, you have to have some way to bring in enough to pay your bills. And, there are a number of alternatives.

Have you considered creating your own online business instead? If you haven’t tried the possibilities, somethings just not clicking for you.

If motivation isn’t your problem, and you know you have to leave your current commute behind, you can begin building your own business now.

  • You can make it happen in the evenings, on weekends, and holidays.
  • You can accomplish amazing things in short, focused periods of time.
  •  You’ll have lots of helpful folks ready and able to help you with all your questions.

That includes me. I’m only an email or PM away with answers to any affiliate marketing questions you may have!

Or, you can just keep doing what you’re doing.

Where To Start

If you have the desire, but need the how-to, take a look at my #1 recommendation for escaping the classroom.  It’s a great resource for learning how to promote yourself, your aspirations, and your special concerns.  People from all walks of life are building their dreams there.

  • I’m not suggesting a pie-in-the-sky dream.
  • I’m not suggesting a get-rich-quick scheme.
  • I am suggesting is an opportunity to join a world famous team!

This could be the solution to your commuter blues. It was for me.  Wouldn’t you like to know for sure?

I may benefit from a qualified purchase.

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6 thoughts on “What Is Commuting (and Why Are You Still Doing It)?”

  1. Hello Nancy,

    As I read your story, I got to feel compelled to write to express my sympathies for all the bad hours, weeks and years, that you and so many others have spent commuting. 

    For me, I’ve always put living close to my work a very important priority, but despite that, I struggled with commuting, because half of my job was in one location very close to home, but the other half was far away. Unfortunately, jobs are often not well-designed, and working from home is not feasible for many types of occupations. Also, I’m experiencing the inconvenience that family members are spread out over a large geographical area, which makes visits more difficult to plan and to carry out because one needs to take into consideration the distance and variable traffic.

    I’m curious if you have learned good tricks over the years on how to best manage your commuting journey? Thanks, Phil

    • Hi Phil,

      I think it’s such a shame that so many of us don’t have the good fortune to live near our work.  Not to mention the expenses associated with the commute.  I suppose that’s the good news/bad news of having good transportation systems.  In years past, people had much less choice in the kinds of jobs available.  I’m glad you’ve been able to make it happen.

      There are a couple of things I’ve done to manage my commutes.  The first was to discover all possible routes to and from work.  That would also include learning which lanes on the freeway were faster at certain entrances  and exits, and when to stay on the freeway and when to get off ahead of my exit.  

      Most things were uncontrollable, but if you paid attention, you could be fairly proactive.  Just competing with myself for best drive-time during the week could be fun.

      The second thing I did was to listen to books-on-tape, and subscribe to Pimsleur and practice my Spanish.  There were some bright spots to commuting, but not commuting is much better!  You already know I think Wealthy Affiliate is a great way to make that happen.

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  2. Interesting post. It would be a great sin if I say I do not enjoy your story over here. You have really had a lot of experience as a casual individual.  The truth is most people out there go through this experience, but still feel comfortable and don’t take greater steps that would help them and make them better. Thanks for being honest and sharing the Wealthy Affiliate platform…I can’t wait to explore it.

    Thanks a bunch. 

    • Thanks for the kind words.  I agree with you.  It does seem that most people just don’t do the things needed to improve their situation.  Maybe they just think it’s the way things have to be.  I always want to know why something is the way it is!  

      Thank you a bunch for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  3. Hi Nancy, this is a very interesting article!

    The whole time I was reading your article I had no idea where it was going, but I could see it towards the end. It makes me feel refreshed, I’ve been reading a lot of WA reviews and none of those started like yours. It’s such a great idea to include your own personal stories in the post, so that people can understand where you are coming from.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Tim,

      I love it that my article made you feel refreshed.  I’ve been involved in lots of conversations  about commuting, and they’ve all concluded with everyone agreeing that a life without commuting would be perfect.  It just seemed like a natural thing to link that dream with the reality of Wealthy Affiliate.  

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!


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