In all my working life, I’ve never really been a commuter. I’ve always lived reasonably close to work. So close that I’ve usually been able to walk, ride, or take a short drive. I think the longest commute I’ve ever made may have been four or five kilometres, when I lived in Paringa (a small village in South Australia) and worked in nearby Renmark.
As a result, when I moved to Sydney, I made a conscious decision to also live close to work. Having lived most of my life in the country, I was fearful of the endless commute, and so I looked at the map of Sydney, and pretty much decided I’d live in Surry Hills, Redfern, Glebe, Pyrmont places like that, so I could either walk, catch a bus, or take a taxi if I needed to. So at the moment, it takes me about fifteen minutes to walk to work (when the weather’s fine) and a similar time to catch the bus (when it’s raining).
But at the moment, I’m working out of the office which has already involved three days of an hour long commute to and from my temporary workplace.
There are some things I really like about catching the train for such a lengthy journey. First, I don’t have to deal with the stop-start traffic patterns of Sydney (especially today when the trip home would have been awful due to the rain). Second, I like the quietness of it all, as the trains I’ve been catching at the times I’ve been catching have been reasonably quiet. As a result, I’m arriving to and from work feeling very relaxed, I’m doing a lot of reading, and even managed to knock off my Swedish homework in the the travel time.
The only negative is that I’ve encountered a few very loud mobile phone chatters. As a result, I’ve learned about the intimate operation details of a large Australian company. I’ve also learned about which “diet meals” are good and which are crap. I honestly don’t understand why people aren’t more discrete about their private conversations when they travel on public transport. If I need to take a call, I’ll usually the tell person I’m on a train and unless it’s urgent, I’ll call them back. That’s not the case for many others it seems.
Two weeks of this, and then life returns to normal with my 15 minute stroll from the bedroom the office.