Today’s #TravelTuesday post comes from Mitchell Muro, Social Business Associate at Actiance.
The life of a commuter. For me, it really is a love-hate relationship. I’ve never been opposed to long distance automobile travel, as I’ve been commuting 30 minutes plus, daily ever since high school, and now I’m already one year out of college, still commuting to my second home here at Actiance. One thing I am grateful for is that I’m fortunate enough to have a carpool. I suggest taking this tactic for anyone who plans to commute 30+ minutes to work and you know for a fact, there’s going to be traffic…every morning! Finding my carpool is actually a funny story. About the second or third day on the job, I was going through orientation, meeting everybody and listening to presentations from my future colleagues as they taught me everything there was to know about the company. As I’m listening to a “Facebook Best-Practices” presentation given to me by none other than Actiance’s pride and joy, @VictorGaxiola, I see on his Facebook timeline, “Moved to Morgan Hill, California – 2008.” ARE YOU JOKING ME! I come to find out one of my colleagues (who has now grown to be one of my partners in crime), Victor, lives literally 5 minutes away from me in Morgan Hill. Coincidence? No, I think he’s followed me here. Okay, back to the topic.
As an experienced commuter, I’ve seen my share of absurd, enraged, and flat out ridiculous drivers, and even passengers! It might just be me, but there’s something absolutely hilarious about driving on the 101, relaxed, in traffic, listening to music on your way to work, when suddenly you look out of the window to your right, and see a grown man singing his heart out to @CarlyRaeJepsen’s #CallMeMaybe…although it did sound amazing. Jokes aside, I do appreciate how social commuting can actually be, physically as well as social-networkingly (yes, I made it up). Let me explain, on my 40-45 minute ride up to work with my colleague, we ALWAYS talk about random things – the latest trends on twitter, who won which #Oscars2013, how the weekend was, the new social network of the week, etc. It’s great to just relax and talk to someone freely before you arrive at work. If you think about it, the freeway/road is almost a social network of its own. One huge road successfully connecting everybody to their destination so they can see the people they need to see, as they communicate with other drivers on the road with hand gestures, car-blinkers, signals, etc.
This brings me to one of my favorite apps that should be on every commuter’s iPhone or android smartphone, because I know you have them!
@WAZE (www.waze.com). The FREE GPS Navigation App with Turn by Turn, but that’s not all it is.Waze connects you to the largest community of drivers on the road, where you can share real-time traffic information with other users around you. This app can help you and others avoid traffic and give you road-alerts so you can get where you need to go faster and possibly keep you from getting that dreaded traffic ticket! One of my favorite parts of Waze it that it learns your routes as you drive them more often, so when traffic is up ahead, or someone has submitted a road alert, Waze will automatically give you a better route to take if possible. I wouldn’t leave home without this app on my iPhone, it’s such a cool idea and helps out tremendously, I recommend!
I think a lot of us look at the commute as a monotonous yet necessary chore and sometimes even take it for granted, we should transform that notion. I typically like to find the silver lining in things that seem rather dull and tedious. Rather than sit in traffic enraged, I challenge you to find something fun to do while on the road, find a way to contribute to the social commuter’s community. Maybe find a fellow commuter who is stuck in the same traffic you are, then wave and smile at them, make their day. Use your commute to get in the right mindset before you arrive at work or school. Think of the commute almost like a buffer that provides you that border, separating home from work.