I’ve been an occupational therapist for two decades. My cars have racked up the mileage during this time. Either I’ve had a substantial commute or driven long distances between visits during my working day. My current situation isn’t any different. I’m based across three sites but my main workplace is an hour away, way up on Dartmoor high reaches. I travel from moor to sea at least once a week. I might as well make a lengthy commute as pleasant as possible.
Let’s start off by saying that I’m not too hard done by in terms of the landscape I have to travel through. It’s beautiful full stop, the type of ‘little drive’ that a person might take on a Sunday for pleasure. And unlike many people’s journeys to work I don’t generally sit nose to nose in traffic jams. In the main I keep moving even though my average miles per hour isn’t great. There are long old climbs and winding narrow roads to negotiate.
Just before I leave the house in the morning I’ll make a big insulated mug of tea as sustenance for the ride. I connect my phone to the car audio system, pop on the heated seat (even in summer with the air conditioning at full blast!) and then I’m off.
Sometimes I have a little concert, listening to music on Spotify. At other times I’ll better myself by listening to a YouTube talk or perhaps an audiobook over several trips. I’ll never run out of entertainment. And then there are those views. From moor to sea the vistas are fantastic. The landscape is always different, light levels and colours change. Sometimes my journey is unhindered but I’m often held up by livestock, sheep, cows and of course the famous Dartmoor ponies. Last winter one had the audacity to approach my car on a icy morning and lick the salt off of it! At the moment they’re all over the road, waiting for the holidaymakers to come along and feed them M&Ms! There’s babies like this one. They’re cute but particularly skittish.
In an ideal world I’d be able to walk to work but then my dream jobs are never situated within walking or cycling distance. But I work from home a couple of days and have learnt to make the most of my commutes. It seems that I’ve made a reasonable job of making it as pleasurable as I can.