Chances are if you’re young and live in the city, you have some sort of commute every morning. I love cardigans, pumpkin spiced-everything, and the crispness of fall air more than the average human being, but the change in weather means less biking, and more buses and trains.
But public transportation is downright enjoyable now I’ve discovered there are far more interesting things to do than bury your head in your cell phone. (Although, I do recommend this as the number one way to pretend to be busy to brush off awkward small talk. Sorry! I’ve got very important text messages to send for the next 10 minutes straight!)
Here are just a few of many ways to make your commute more enjoyable:
It’s good for you. If you have trouble carving out time to read for pleasure during the week, take a few moments on the bus everyday to read whatever you feel like! Have a designated ‘morning commute book’ or plan on grabbing the paper (yes, the physical paper!).
Books I’ve loved recently are Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Self-Help by Lorrie Moore and How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (don’t read the last one if laughing out loud on silent buses makes you feel uncomfortable).
Talk to people
A few weeks ago, I got in a conversation with an old man who’s been playing the saxophone since 1918. There’s a plethora of knowledge waiting to be tapped into in others. Hearing stories from interesting people trumps checking Twitter on my phone every time.
You need to find someone friendly and willing to talk however, and certainly don’t go chat it up with the guy who’s been on drugs all night.
If striking up conversations isn’t your cup of transportation tea, people watch! Public transportation is my very favorite place to do this easy, low-risk activity.
Try a different perspective
I have a game I like to play where I try to imagine what people’s lives are like, and who loves them. Trying to look at someone as if they’re the perfect center of someone else’s world makes them much more endearing, and makes me much less annoyed with their loud cell phone conversation.
Imagine what people do for a profession, or imagine where they are going (work–duh, but what’s their office looking like?). You can make up the drama of their lives in just a few minutes. Believe me, it does wonders for your creativity.
Blast the Monday playlist
If your commute is your allocated veg time, pump yourself up for the day with a “getting my sh*t together” playlist. Some suggestions:
Manic Monday by Reliant K
The Wrong Way by Sublime
Or try a pre-made 8track to get your “today’s a good day” feel.
Always a good idea, as I’m pretty sure we barely have time for it. The gently rocking rhythm of the light rail puts me to sleep more often than I’d like to admit.
If all else fails, pick up your phone and play Words with Friends. I won’t judge you.
Photos by Neil Rickards & Nanny Snowflake.