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Why Living Far From Work Might Actually Work Better

There are so many reasons why it makes sense to live close to where you work.  Whether it's saving on gas, being closer to those you love or decreasing stress, it almost always makes sense to live within 25 minutes of work.

Unless of course you're like most people who simply cannot do this.

Consider the data:

  • Americans spend approximately 100 hours commuting to work each year (US Census)

  • The average commute is nearly 87 minutes (ABC News)

  • More Americans than ever before are commuting from suburb to suburb (Management issues)


I spent nearly a decade driving to work a distance of over 20 miles each way.  That's not so extreme in the big picture and there are certainly some huge benefits to a commute of that distance.  These include:

  • Learning via audio books; this is a tremendous advantage to commuting as you can consume vast amounts of information in no time.  Drive time becomes learning time.

  • Decompressing; depending on what kind of driving you do (backroads, public transit, highway, etc.), commuting more than 20 miles can serve as a kind of decompression system.  Many people arrive home with the day already put into perspective.

  • Your personal life is really yours; when you're not that close to where you work, you'll run into folks you know less often and feel more able to be yourself and enjoy your family.  For teachers, this is especially helpful.

  • Prayer; no I'm not talking about praying for the guy who just cut you off (although that's not a bad idea!).  Rather, commuting can be a great time for the Rosary or even for just talking with God about your day.  Try this one out.


I'm someone who makes the best of it, whether I'm commuting a long distance or, as I do now, living closer to work.  What would be my ideal commute?  I would live about 10 miles from work, using scenic roads as my primary route and with a few backup routes in case of traffic.  Most of all, I'd be able to get to my family in the case of an emergency in less than 30 minutes.  Now that would be ideal.

How about you?

Photo by SSShupe