Almost immediately after graduating University I got a job working for a start-up as an android developer. Everything about the job description excited me, except the offices distance from my home. Google predicted that it would take me about 25 minutes to drive there without traffic. Unfortunately I did not have a car at the time, so the one-and-a-half hour bus trip was the only other option.
This was quite discouraging at first, knowing that I’ll be spending nearly three hours commuting. To make matters worse, the travel wasn’t just a single bus trip, but several. It involved a 20-minute walk at one point which on an early Monday morning I suspected I wouldn’t be excited about.
It turned out to not be so bad though, commuting actually had many benefits. For example, the fact that you can sit and do whatever you like while somebody else operates the bus. This allowed me to read, program, or sleep if I felt I wanted to, something you can’t or at least shouldn’t be doing while driving.
Another major benefit was the walking that the commute involved. Each trip involved around 30 minutes or so of travelling by foot which allowed me to get some sun and exercise. It felt very refreshing, and pleasurable to walk after sitting on a chair idle for many hours.
Lastly, commuting was a lot cheaper. I only had to worry about loading my bus card with credits and that’s it, no insurance payments, gas, maintenance, and repairs. The overhead associated with making the payments was a lot smaller too since the card loaded itself almost automatically.
That being said, a lot of things did suck about commuting. Since there was a lot of walking involved, the quality of the walk was fairly dependent on the weather. If it rained, I’d show up to work uncomfortable and soaked, especially if I forgot an umbrella. Other things such as over-crowded buses and following a fixed schedule were also often annoying.
The biggest con was the time though, the fact that during the commute I had only a little flexibility with what I could actually do. Due to this, I didn’t commute for very long, I ended up purchasing a car only a few weeks in. Now I find myself making up those walks to work on a treadmill at the gym.