Photo of woman driving

Surviving Houston’s Daily Grind

From the Editors

Hey there, fellow travelers! Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’ve been in your car for longer than you’ve been awake? Well, let me tell you about my “normal” day in Houston, and maybe you’ll feel a little better about your commute.

It all started with a 35-minute drive to a meeting in Southwest Houston. No big deal, right? Just a quick drive to get the day started. But of course, the meeting ran long, as meetings tend to do, and suddenly I found myself 2 hours into a meeting that had only been on my calendar for less than a day. Finally, we wrapped things up, and I hopped back in my car for a 25-minute drive to my office.

I settled in for a few hours of work, and then it was time to pick up my nephew from school. “Sure, I can do that,” I said, not fully realizing what I really agreed to do. Thanks to rush hour traffic, it took nearly an hour to get him home. And then…I just had to wait. No work to do, no real reason to be there, just killing time until my next event.

That event was a networking meetup for podcasters, which sounded like a lot of fun…until I got there and saw how crowded it was. I’m not usually claustrophobic, but it can be overwhelming when you’re packed in like sardines with a bunch of strangers. Still, I soldiered on and managed to have a good time.

And then it was time to go home. A 35-minute drive later, I was back in the comfort of my home, feeling like I’d been on a journey to Mordor and back.

Now, I know some of you may think, “That’s not so bad! I drive 3 hours every day!” And to you, I say…wow, you’re a real trooper. But for the rest of us, for me in particular, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how ridiculous that much driving can be.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I mostly work from home, so this “normal” day was a bit of an outlier for me. But even when I did have to go into the office, it was better than my old commute downtown.

Back in those dark days, a drive to work could take me up to 2 hours, depending on when I left to go there and when I left to come home. And let me tell you, nothing makes you question your life choices quite like being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours on end.

But that’s all in the past, thanks to the magic of working from home. Sure, there are still days when I have to venture out into the world, but they’re few and far between. And on those days, I’m reminded of just how lucky I am to be able to skip the daily grind of rush hour traffic.

So, to all you commuters out there, I salute you. How do you do it day in and day out? I’ll stick to my cozy home office and leave the highways to you, brave souls.

So, what’s your “normal” drive time? And more importantly, how do you keep yourself entertained during those long hours on the road? I’m a big fan of podcasts (obviously), but I’m always looking for new ways to pass the time. Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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