I decided to go for a walk this morning. Forgoing the use of my car, I walked to the train station, a distance of approximately one mile. From there, I caught a train which took approximately half an hour to reach the nearest station to my destination, making all stops as it was a local train. This was followed by another half hour walk to cover about 1.2 miles to my destination, and after quickly picking up what I needed, I turned around to return to the train station. The next local train that would take me back arrived in approximately 40 minutes. A half hour ride later and another half hour walk back, I was home.
All in all, this trip took a little under four hours. By contrast, driving between the two locations, according to Google Maps, would take about fifteen minutes each way plus ten minutes for pickup, in total taking about forty minutes. The cost of this trip was about $5 each way, while using a ride-hailing app would have cost about $20 each way.
Had I driven or taken a ride, I certainly would have had significantly more time to myself to do other things. That said, I would have missed out on a nice bit of exercise, low impact though it was. And an opportunity to break in some boots, the soles of which are still much harder than is comfortable. I’d have missed the hours of podcasts I had a chance to catch up with, I’d have missed noticing all the shops and stores I’d never seen before along my route, and I’d have missed the opportunity to drop in on a friend’s office (though I guessed he probably wasn’t in and decided to skip that digression).
Sometimes, it’s worth taking the slower route. Sometimes, it’s worth taking time out to look around, taking the time out to catch up on things I didn’t have time to do before. Sometimes, I think it’s worth doing something different for the sake of doing so.
That said, four hours to do a twenty mile round trip at a cost of $10 says something about our public transit system. :)