So you’re either stuck in a shiny metal box amongst thousands bumper to bumper on the highway, zooming through an underground dungeon on the subway, or enjoying the pleasant smell of the rough-and-tumble public bus crew
I’ve been a perma-traveller ever since I left for university the first time as a spring chicken–living hours away from your city friends in the suburbs will do that to you. Now that I’m working AND going to school 1.5 hours away from home? That qualifies me for some serious commuter cred thankyouverymuch.
So yeah, I’m the self imposed queen of the dirty, stressful, uncomfortable, expensive and frustrating public transit commute.
…and I have a learnt a couple things from my tumultuous travels such as:*how to stay sane and make the most out of that 1-4 hour shitty- ass waste of time* (sorry for the language, but if you have ever experienced ‘delay due to track work’ meant, you would get it)
1) TREAT YOURSELF
Needless to say we are creatures that enjoy tasty nourishment in any given situation. I’ve somewhat trained myself a la ‘Pavlov’s Dog’ to enjoy getting on the train by saving my piping hot coffee with soy milk for the moment I get myself settled. This automatically puts me in the zone for a relaxing train ride and allows for a little indulgement.
My Favourite Foods For Happy Travel
- Oatmeal In a Jar: usually involving chia, plant milk, frozen berries, and every other nut, seed, & supplement thrown together the night before. (still weirds people out but very satisfying and portable and easy to eat without spilling)
- Vegan Protein Bars (need no introduction…they are chocolatey, they are satiating… and now they are making them fermented, with super foods and with other exciting bells and whistles)
- Popcorn (if you don’t mind spilling it from one end of the vehicle to the next)
- Dark green.or even better, black smoothies packed with nourishment like dark leafy greens, spirulina powder and protein powder- To further scare your neighbour, as well as keep you annoyingly peppy throughout the day.
- Homemade Seed crackers: This recipe by ‘My New Roots’ has saved my life multiple times. Dense and seedy just the way I like em. Don’t be fooled into snacking on lame store bought brands that just make you hungrier and get crumbs all over your black pants.
2) BE PRODUCTIVE AND STUFF
Arriving to your destination with things already checked off your to-do list? Yeah I’m down.
This one took me months to figure out: it’s so much easier just to zone out and blast Drake at obnoxious levels for you and your unsuspecting neighbours to enjoy (enjoying the new mix tape, bro?) But once I started actively accomplishing stuff–like writing this blog post, reading that book I never have time for, journal writing, etc– it takes ALOT of stress of the test of your day, and feels kick-ass to make use of your so called ‘wasted’ time.
Save the stuff you need wifi and 3G for at home and prioritize the others for your schlep through he city.
It MAY change your life
3) ZEN THE EFF OUT
I often need to use this one when A) HELLA TRAFFIC AND I’M SO LATE B) THE TRAIN HAS STOPPED FOR NO REASON AT ALL. WERE JUST STANDING HERE. NOT. MOVING.
C) I’m on my way to something important like an interview/ date/ presentation
Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Put on a soothing indie song, and imagine your day going EXACTLY to plan. You arrive on time. Everyone appreciates your presence. You are joyful, relaxed and happy. Repeat affirmations like ‘Life loves me’ ‘everything is perfect’ ‘the positive energy I am putting out is coming back to me’
This honestly works and when you are stuck in an uncomfortable situation in which you have no control.
Why NOT change your mindset and settle some of those unsightly butterflies?
4) ARRIVE EARLY & BE ORGANIZED
Easier said than done but public transit & air travel is one of the only things I bother to arrive early for. Why? To get the best seat and mark down my territory.
Far away from the toilet, the four excited tweens heading to the city for a Jason derulo concert, far from the loud phone talker and as close as possible to the attractive man pensively filling out a crossword.
Settle into your new home with a big coat, open your Tupperware of curried chickpeas and put on your Nicki Minaj- no one will dare cross you. Let alone squish in the seat next to you.
This is your time, don’t wait for the weekend to rock it.