The old adage that “It’s all about the journey, not the destination,” may be true when you’re heading for an epic adventure — like Road Trippin’ to Byron Bay or Photographing the Great Ocean Road — but when you’re doing the daily commute, the adventure-journey formula often goes straight out of the window.
More often than not, the commute is about getting from point A, to point B, in the quickest, most convenient and most efficient way possible. It usually involves main roads, public transport and driving short distances, resulting in a monotonous and boring experience.
So what if you apply the adventure-journey formula to your daily commute? And instead of focusing on “getting” to work, you focus on “how” you get to work, making it all about the journey, not the destination.
Inject Some Adventure Into Your Daily Commute
When I was living in London, my commute used to take around an hour and a quarter and involved catching a tube, riding a train and finishing up with a short bus ride. After 6 months of the same route, I discovered that I could make the same commute in 40 minutes riding my bike instead of using public transport. Moving to pedal power was a game changer for me and helped change the way that I’ve looked at my commute ever since.
Moving to Canberra, there was even more opportunity to transform the daily commute from a familiar routine into an extra chance for adventure. I exchanged direct cycle paths along busy roads for fire trails and singletrack routes through nature reserves. My commuting time increased, but my enjoyment, health and stoke levels increased too. I reckon the commuter switch-up is, hands down, the best way to inject extra adventure into your working week.
How To Make It Happen
Step One — Planning
- Plan your route
- Look at a map — are there any parks, reserves, waterways, oceans, forests, etc on your way to work?
- Take a less direct route
- Turn left instead of right
Step Two — Choose Your Mode Of Transport
- A medley of the above
- Combine with public transport or park and ride
Step Three — Time For Action
- Get up earlier and give yourself more time for adventure
- Invite a mate or work colleague to join you
- Prepare your gear the night before
- Don’t make excuses — it’s never too wet or too cold, you just need the right gear!
- Keep mixing it up — try commuting different routes/methods during the week
- Return to your old commute after a few mornings up a mountain — it can actually be pretty fun
- Congratulate yourself and begin to enjoy your commuting time again
In case you need more reasons to adventurise your daily commute, here are the top 5 benefits of taking a different route.
- Arrive at work more alert after an energising microadventure
- Enjoy the mindful benefits of being out in nature
- Encounter fewer vehicles and more animals
- Chance for thrills
- Big smiles
Try something new this week…