We live about 40 km away from our office. Our previous office, that is, because currently we are travelling and house sitting in the UK and I am an exchange student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. We shall re-open our practice once we get back. But this one shall still be somewhere in Tallinn and we will continue to live in a small town called Kehra. It normally took us 50-60 minutes a day to get to work and this includes a 1.5-km walk to the train station (usually a rather brisk walk, done in 12-13 minutes), the train itself (either 24 or 32 minutes, depending on its type), walk to the bus stop (5-6 minutes), waiting for the bus if necessary, the bus ride (3-4 minutes), from the stop to the office door. What a commute. It might not sound a lot for someone who lives in a bigger country, bigger city but it is a lot in Estonia. Very often we would get tired of this.
But what am I doing in the UK? Well, currently we house sit in Weston-super-Mare where we are temporary dog and cat owners in someone else’s home. Luckily, I only need to go to university twice a week. For me, this means: 8-minute walk to the X1 bus stop, around 1 tedious hour on the X1 that stops everywhere, changing buses in Bristol, 1-hour bus ride from Bristol to Cardiff, walking up to Cyncoed campus (approx. 45 minutes, I no longer bother with the super slow buses, healthier to walk). Day 915 meant a class at 5pm. I left our current home a bit after 1pm. First bus at 1.21pm, 2nd from Bristol at 2.45pm, starting my trek up the hill in Cardiff around 3.50pm. Well, that’s life. I wouldn’t travel such distances in Estonia, oh no! All this commuting wears me out a bit. However, it is a good time to listen to investing podcasts or read a book. Sadly, writing on a bus is not too much fun. In Estonia, I would have long train rides (50 minutes doesn’t sound so long anymore somehow…) when I went to my driving lessons and there I could work or write or anything. I kind of enjoyed that quiet time!
Soon we will buy a car. Yes, the train might be faster because it cuts straight through the forests where a car would have to go around but relying only on train schedules is wearing us out. What if we could actually leave work when we are ready, not when the train goes? Ah, the freedom! And the car time can be used for podcasts.
What is your relationship with commuting? How do you spend that time?
1. Own and live in a house.
No time to earn any money but did listen to an investment podcast on the bus.
2. Write AND publish a book.
Narrative engineering and construction workshop i.e. gave and received feedback (by the way, they loved my piece!) and wrote frantically throughout a writing exercise in the class. Autumn leaves as the inspiration, it did feel like a rambling at first. But it sparked an interesting idea… and taught how sometimes you need to be able to adapt and write when you are prompted. I could use similar exercises once I start teaching creative writing myself. Or when I do write that creative writing book. I have it all outlined, inspiration hit me hard during one of the many Ryanair flights.
3. Win a major race.
Super hard workout. Uphill sprints. I loathe these just because I am too weak for them. My quads simply die when I try to run up the hill. And the one I chose? Yes, the very road that I can see every day from the kitchen window or from the balcony. It was worse than the final part of the Tartu Marathon (Toomemägi). The first time is supposed to be hard, I haven’t done hills for a long time. But I have to. Otherwise, I would never get strong. Let’s say that I am happy that I did it, although I cannot boast with my speed.
Photo of the Day
I had some time before my bus back home to Weston-super-Mare, so I walked to the next stop in Bristol and then another and another. Well, I had 35 minutes between my Cardiff-Bristol Megabus and my X1. The night was warm and mellow. This is that big ship (SS Great Britain?) you could visit in Bristol. I felt so much at home during this walk because I lived there 7 years ago. I almost started walking towards the direction of my former home. Almost.