I am yet to learn how to drive a car, and even if I did I would no way be able to afford one, unless I did something like saved money.
Thanks to not being able to drive, I have gotten pretty used to commuting on wonderful public transport now and I felt like sharing the ways I try to make it a less stressful experience.
Leave time for delays
Sometimes I go overboard on this one, especially if I have to change trains or get a bus as well. What if the first one is late and I miss it, better get the one before and arrive an hour early I guess! It is pretty sensible if I am not used to the journey. I am used to my commute into work now and give myself 8 minutes to get from my train to my bus in the mornings. Initially I allowed 20 and immediately realised that 8 minutes would be just fine, even if it does occasionally mean running like a madwoman out of the train station when my train is 5 minutes late!
It can make such a difference to my day if someone is just a little bit nicer. Plus, I usually feel better if I do some kind of good deed. So it’s not all about being selfless.
It could mean: letting someone go on front of me, moving my bag off the seat so someone can sit down, helping someone who is struggling with a big bag, letting someone who might need a seat more than me have mine. They are pretty small things, but it is always lovely when someone does it for me, so I try and do it too.
Think of something productive to do
When I look around the station and everyone is looking at their phones it can feel a little bit like a sci-fi film where people are ruled by their phones. But there is a reason for it: they have the internet, and it may be the only entertainment people have while they wait.
Sometimes public transport is late, and every minute it gets later and later I think of all the time I am wasting. So I try to restrict the amount of time I mindlessly scroll through social media and spend the time a bit more productively. I usually have a book with me, learn some French on Duolingo or read a news app instead.
The magic door
There have been a few times when I have been held up and am running at the train as the train manager is blowing his whistle, ready to leave. At this point all of the doors on the train are locked. Except one. The train manager still needs to step onto the train, and a nice one will see you running like a crazy person towards him and might wait for you to jump onto the train through the only open door before he steps in himself. A mean one will jump on the train and close the door in your poor exhausted face.
Okay, magic door is probably an exaggeration.
When my bus is late it usually means I will miss my train and have to wait around for the next one. One way of making this less frustrating is telling myself that if the bus is late and you have to wait for the next train, you can buy a hot drink from the station! It can really take the edge off getting annoyed at public transport if I think a delicious, overpriced, unhealthy hot beverage is coming my way.
That’s how I handle public transport, anyway. Does anyone else have any ways of making it less stressful?