Commuting: A Survival Guide

IMG_1451 I'm coming to understand that commuting is a "normal adult" thing to do, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it. In Chattanooga, I lived a simple, 15 minute drive from my office. There was rarely traffic, my parking spot was less than a block from the front door, and the entire thing was temperature-controlled.

Now I'm learning how to commute like a ~city gal~, and trying to figure out how to not hate it. I will say that compared to a lot of people who live here I actually have a great commute. I walk about 5 blocks to the subway station, take a 15 minute subway ride, and walk a block to my office. I know some people who have 20 block walks walks or have to use 3 different busses, so really I have no room to complain.

When I first moved here, I thought the subway would be like the monorail at Disney World. It even goes above ground in some places, how neat! That was until I had to start taking it every day at peak commute hours, however. It's always hot, I'm sure it's very dirty, and occasionally I get plagued with the fear that we'll get in a violent crash or an earthquake will occur while we're under the bay.

I'm determined to not start each day with thoughts like this, so I've been trying to find ways to distract myself and maybe hate my commute a little less!

Headphones // I'm wouldn't say I love music. I like music and listening to new albums, but I'm certainly not the person who always has music on. I enjoy the Discover Weekly feature on Spotify, but I'm just as content listening to old favorites most of the time. That being said, for commuting headphones are essential! The subway is loud, people are loud, and having your headphones in give you a great degree of separation from everyone else. I will confess I've only been using my Apple Earpods as opposed to my Beats (so I can hear if the train operator informs us we're all going to die), but I like to think it's a similar effect. Lately I've been loving Lorde's new album and all Taylor Swift since she's back on Spotify!

Books // This is the most recent development, and goodness I am glad I started doing this! My cell phone service is terrible in SF, and things barely load for me while I'm on the train. Instead of trying to will my timeline to load, I've started reading. It's a little cumbersome to commit to holding a book when there's no hope for a seat, but it's a great way to start and end the day so it's worth it! I just finished #GirlBoss (I'm obsessed) and started Yes Please. Nothing like some female empowerment to start your day!

Sunglasses // Yes, everyone hates the "sunglasses inside" guy, but I think "sunglasses on the subway" guy is totally legitimate. Subway trains are lit with the harshest fluorescent lights money can buy, which cannot be good for your eyes. It also prevents any awkward eye contact, which is a huge bonus for me.

Using this three-tiered approach, I've designed a commute that I at least doesn't make me want to cry every morning (which is huge progress, believe me). I'm just hoping that one day I'll be brave enough to wear my noise canceling headphones again!