This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate!
“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” –Don Williams, Jr.
Something I’ve learned to appreciate from traveling is the waiting and the process of “getting somewhere”. After returning from my RTW trip, I waited to re-purchase a car, and almost three years later, I still don’t have one.
Just like when traveling, I’ve found that when I’m actively engaged in my journey (transit) by walking or biking or taking public transportation, I’m experiencing my community and city in a different way. Each trip is unique and can vary from a fairly standard ride to yoga class, to chatting with Portland tourists on the Streetcar and giving them restaurant recommendations, and even the occasional drama like having a bus pull over and call the police because some crazy person is getting mad at the driver), or discovering a new shop because you decided to walk a new route.
As I started biking in Portland a lot more in the past year, it’s brought all kinds of lovely surprises. The kind of spontaneous adventures that I find myself much more open to when I’m traveling vs at home. Biking in Portland has made me fall in love with my city even more, and I stumble across lots of little adventures while out pedaling around.
Biking also makes me more positive. Seriously? Yes. Here’s a comparison of what biking vs driving sounds like in my head…
What a biking commute sounds like: “look at those leaves, omg that tree is beautiful, oooh… I should stop there sometime and buy a pastry, hmmm is that guy wearing a tutu? does he think it’s ironic? wow, I love bike boulevards, please don’t let there be a car at this road cuz I don’t wanna stop, OMG my quads are burning, ooh the river looks awesome today, maybe I’ll bike over the Steel Bridge instead of the Hawthorne, maybe I’ll stop for dinner here…”
What a car commute sounds like: “I hate this traffic. I hate this song. Don’t get over. Don’t get over. I hate you other drivers. I hate that I can’t teleport…”
Is it all awesome not having a car? No. In case you’ve forgotten, it rains a bit in Portland. But with biking, public transit, friends, and Zipcar, it’s doable and has allowed me to both live more ‘in the present’ in my everyday life (and save money). Biking is also great for de-stressing. I can start off my bike ride while intensely thinking about something, and by the time I arrive at my destination, my mind is practically clear — a wonderful feeling.
What’s your favorite method of transit?
30 Days of Indie Travel Project: How to Participate
We’re inviting bloggers from around the world (that means you, too!) to join us in a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year – or whenever – have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.
We’ll share some of our favorites via Twitter and Facebook throughout November, as well as a round-up article at the end of the month, so if you’re playing along make sure to let us know – use the #indie30 hashtag on Twitter, and link to the 30 Days of Indie Travel page in your post so we’ll be able to find it.
Find out all of the 30 Days of Indie Travel blogging prompts so far – it’s never too late to join in the fun!
Prompt #22: TRANSIT
The word travel comes from a French word meaning “work” and sometimes, getting there is work. Between crowded buses, long airline delays, overnight trains and crazy rickshaw rides, transportation can be stressful, but it can also be a rewarding part of the tip. Tell us about a time when the journey became more important than the destination.
Tools and inspiration: Get primed with tips on transportation in Central America