Heavy traffic can be the bane of your existence if you drive to work. Here are the things I do to keep calm in traffic & make the commute a bit more bearable.
The main reason I listen to the radio when I’m driving is to get the traffic report. Most radio stations deliver a traffic report roughly every 15 minutes during peak times. Because of this, I can make an informed decision about which roads to take to my destination.
The music & DJs also help pass the time. I often think about how I could contribute if I had to call in about the topic they are talking about.
I keep my phone on silent most of the time, not just when I’m driving but when I am work too. I also keep it in the phone pocket of my bag, on the floor on the passenger side of my car. The radio is generally up loud enough that I don’t hear it vibrate & I occasionally have missed calls, text messages or notifications when I check my phone at my destination.
In case you need to take a different route, it helps to know the roads. My car doesn’t have a built-in GPS, so knowing the roads comes in handy. Sometimes you will have no choice but to figure it out as you go.
A bonus here is to be able to orient yourself by knowing which way is north & knowing which general direction you need to go.
I like to take note of some of the cars around me & track my progress against theirs. I try to pick a memorable vehicle or two (usually ones with branding of some sort, it makes them easy to remember) & compare which lanes are moving faster. It sometimes interesting to see further along the road once the traffic has cleared if I see them again.
Knowing which lanes flow better on the freeway help you take advantage of the ones that move a bit faster than others. Generally, the lanes where traffic merges tend to move slower, but that is not always the case.
For long trips, I like to listen to audiobooks. If I know I will be in the car for at least an hour, it’s a great way to multi-task. Most of the audiobooks I like to listen to are ones I can learn from such as business, personal finance & even self-help. The only time I avoid this is during peak traffic periods where I find its best to listen to the radio for the traffic report.
As much as I love Christmas, the tree is the only Christmas decoration I put up. It was almost the only Christmas decoration I had growing up. There was an inflatable Santa & an inflatable reindeer. But after a few years they stopped being used, I guess they got holes in them.
I like to set up my tree on December 1 but of course, it doesn’t alway happen.
RELATED: Post Christmas Clean Up
Although it is incredibly rare that I have cash to spend, I like to hang on to any spare change I get. Any coins are considered to be spare change. I like to keep them in two zip lock bags, one for gold (one & two dollars) & one for silver (fifty, twenty, ten & five cents).
The main use I have for the gold coins is to pay for any parking. I regularly see a client in the city & need to pay for parking while I am there. Honestly I could park on the street for free & move my car every few hours, but I am too lazy to do that. Plus, it could be raining, or cold, or no spaces left when I need to move it, or worse still, I could forget altogether & end up with a parking fine. And that fine costs about twelve times more than the parking! I try to keep enough money for 2 trips to this client in my coin purse. It also means that if something else come up, I have a small amount of change on me at any given time.
I have been quite lucky though. The ticket machines have been upgraded & will also take card payments. That really comes in handy when I forget to top up my coin purse.
Occasionally I use the gold coins for the self-service car wash.
For the last 2 years I have donated all my silver coins when I host the Biggest Morning Tea. It means I get rid of all my really small change & it goes to a good cause. I also have to go to the bank in order to deposit the money into the charity’s account, so it goes full circle: I get change from a shop. I put it in the bank when I donate it. Shops order change from the bank to give to their customers.
I am absolutely amazed at the number of things I learned while travelling in Europe with Contiki back in 2011. I’m sure a lot of these are still relevant and can be used in many travel destinations.
• Try to keep up with your travel diary – It gets really hard to remember what you did 2 days ago after experiencing so many new things.
• Carry wipes – these are great to freshen up on the plane or in the airport, in case there isn’t any toilet paper, & possible bird poo incidents.
• Use hotel soap – and don’t forget to take the packaged ones with you. The next hotel might not have any & you can generally wash your underwear with soap.
• Pack light – I packed 5 pairs on underwear for my 6 weeks in Europe. Each night in the shower I would wash them & hang them to dry. Plus you never know how many clothes & souvenirs you might buy.
• Spending money – take some in cash, some on a travel card & have access to a credit card just in case.
• Carry change to pay for restrooms – I was a little surprised by this but not annoyed. Be prepared to pay around £1 or €1 each time to use a public restroom (including service stations).
• Be prepared for NO PHOTOS – while viewing some beautiful things you may be reminded you are not allowed to take photos. I never asked for a reason. But wasn’t allowed to take photos in the Sistine Chapel, of the English Crown Jewels or Michelangelo’s David.
• Throw it or leave it – another way I managed to pack light was by packing items I was prepared to throw away. I was willing to throw out jeans, a jumper, thrift store handbag & shoes if I found suitable replacements. The only thing that did get replaced was my handbag.
• Throw it or leave it– throw out or leave things at your last destination if you don’t need them. Left over moisturiser, toothpaste, things that you have replaced.
• Take note of your photos – each night I went through the photos on my camera & wrote down what they were of. Chances are you won’t remember & may delete it when you can’t tell friends & family what it is.