If one of the main focuses of this blog is commuting then I have to share my daily commute with you, right? It’s a bit of a doozy and I’ve picked up plenty of tips and tricks along the way, so here it is!
Part I: Car
My commute begins bright and early with about a ten-minute drive to the commuter rail station. This is by far the easiest part of my trek. As long as my car doesn’t take too long to warm up, I’ve got Matty in the Morning cranked up on the radio, and the drive through line at Dunkin Donut’s isn’t too long then we are off to a good start.
Tip #1: As a diehard Dunkin fan I know all locations between my house and the train station. It’s key to know which ones will be the least busy and at what times to be able to plan your morning accordingly.
Part II: Commuter Rail
I have come to love my time on the commuter rail. From beginning to end my ride on the commuter rail is just under one hour and has become essential to my morning routine. Depending on the day my commuter rail routine tends to vary, but I have a usual rotation of things you will most likely find me doing. Most often I’ll be buried in the latest book I’m reading for the entire duration of the ride (and then some). Second to reading you’ll likely find me bouncing back and forth from one social media account to another hoping to find something interesting. On the occasional day I just can’t seem to wake up, you can find me bundled in my jacket snoozing away.
Tip #2: Even if you previously ‘weren’t much of a reader’, give it another shot. Before I graduated college I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a full book just for fun. Now on a good week I average a book a day because I just can’t get enough!
Tip #3: Reading isn’t your thing – that’s okay, at least you tried! This just means it’s even more important to have your go to apps to get your morning going. My personal favorites are Twitter, Spotify, Smile Inc, CNN, and ESPN.
Part III: South Station
Why does South Station get its own section of the commute you ask? Well for those of you not all too familiar with the Boston area – South Station is its very own beast. Maneuvering through South Station has the potential to make or break my entire commute. At first I was a “the little fish in a big pond” as my mom says, but now I’m the shark in the pond (I know there are no sharks in ponds, work with me here)! I have my walking routes through South Station mapped out exactly including which car on the train I need to ride to optimize travel time. I used to joke that someday I was going to write to the head of South Station with my plan to implement walking lanes and as the days go on I’m seriously considering this plan…
Tip #4: When walking (if possible) leave space on either side of you for other people to pass you, especially if you aren’t in a rush. There are few things worse than missing your train by seconds because the person in front of you walk walking too slow – yes I’m speaking from experience.
Tip #5: Utilize travel apps! Citymapper is a good one for train arrival times and can help you discover which cars will optimize your travel time until you can get the hang of it yourself.
Part IV: The T
Jumping from Red Line to Green Line is my absolute least favorite part of my commute. Most days the Green Line I can handle, but I have never seen a more unreliable form of transportation than the dreaded Red Line. Luckily for me I only have to make the quick jump two stops to switch over to the Green Line, but this is another key transition that can make or break my whole commute.
Tip #6: The only real tip I have managed to come up with for the Red Line is stay as close to the door as you can so you’re not trapped by the insane overcrowding!
That’s how I do it then it’s pretty much was, rinse, repeat for the way home! The only major difference is how much more important timing is for arriving at South Station. If you’re even a single minute behind schedule you just might miss that commuter rail home and no one enjoys waiting around for the next one when you could have been halfway home.
My commute is crazy and most people usually say “I don’t know how you do it” or “that must drive you crazy”, but truth be told in a weird way I enjoy it. Even though I’m surrounded by hundreds of people it’s my own little me time to start and end my day with.
For now – enjoy your day, happy readying, and I hope you come back for more!