Skip to Content

How To Fall In Love With Your Commute

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Find Your #Aah #CollectiveBias

Think your commute has to be stressful and arduous? Think again! Check out these ideas to start loving your commute today!

Last Friday, I walked home from work on a glorious, sunny summer afternoon. For seven years, rain or shine, frigid winter wind and snow or sweltering summer heat, I walked just over a mile each way to and from my office. Many days, I walked over two miles each way, when it included drop off or pick up of my boys at daycare. I’m going to miss that commute… big time.

Surprised?

I suspect most people don’t have a commute to which they look forward, something that excites them. Commutes have a bad reputation for being stressful, long and arduous battles against other hurried and anxious foe, fighting to get home faster to their families. I get it. I’ve felt that way too.

My Commute Became An Investment In Myself

But when we moved to Chicago and my commute turned into a morning stroll or an opportunity to decompress from a long day at work, I totally changed my tune. My commute became an alternative to exercise, squeezing in at least 4,000 to 5,000 steps round trip. I found those steps particularly helpful when I had children and visits to the gym essentially ceased to exist.

Before kiddos, M and I walked to and from work together almost every single day. We work just a few blocks from each other. That was a really nice time to talk about whatever seemed relevant. After kids, daycare drop off and pick up duty took precedence over walking together, so we walked separately.

But I didn’t mind that at all either.

I discovered podcasts a couple of years ago which proved a nice complement to a solo commute. Here’s a list of a few of my very favorite podcast episodes that will have you hooked, if you’re not already.

With a steady flow of podcasts mixed in with an audio book from the library here and there, I had a plethora of engaging listening material to turn my “stressful” commute into an investment in myself. Commuting became bookends to my work day of simultaneous physical activity and mental stimulation to refresh both my body and mind.

As an introvert, I cherish time to myself (which we all know wanes dramatically with children). Commuting gave me an opportunity to do something for and by myself with no interruption for nearly an hour each day.

I really liked commuting.

Given the Chicago weather, our initial move here required a bit of an investment in the right gear. I bought winter boots and rain boots, an umbrella, a nice raincoat and two winter coats, a few pairs of gloves and some scarves. I also started thinking more strategically about how I dressed (sleeveless dresses in summer, tights in the winter, ankle pants when it rains, avoiding thin materials in summer that easily show sweat.. ewww… you get the picture).

With the right gear or in the right weather, walking to and from work is the best. Seriously the best.

A Tribute to My Commute

Last Friday, I took my last walk home from work (at least for this chapter in our lives). Our new town in the suburbs of Philadelphia offers little opportunity for walking and certainly no walking to work. That last commute came complete with a glowing sun, clear blue sky, and that perfect temperature that you can’t really even feel. I bet you know what I’m talking about. Basically, when it comes to weather, it doesn’t get better.

To capture the glistening sun on the Chicago River, I pulled out my phone and shot some videos as a bit of a tribute to my beloved commute.

But for a few frigid January mornings, you’ll be remembered fondly downtown Chicago sidewalks.

To cap off my final walk home, I stopped into one of the two 7-Eleven stores not far from our apartment and snagged a little snack. It felt right to send off my commute in good, tasty fashion and the weather confirmed my intuition.

I’m not one to indulge often in an ice cream treat for myself, but when I do, I don’t shy away from “the good stuff.” I remember growing up, my parents would take us to the Häagen-Dazs® ice cream store in downtown, and it was our chance to pick out something fancy. Häagen-Dazs was for special little moments and occasions. This time, I chose the Vanilla Chocolate Almond Bar and… it was awesome. I wanted something I could eat while I walked the rest of the way home.

Think your commute has to be stressful and arduous? Think again! Check out these ideas to start loving your commute today!Häagen-Dazs in-store photos

Feeling generous, I also grabbed pints of Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla to share with the boys over the weekend. We had plenty of warm weather in the forecast, and the little ones and M all love ice cream so we made little Neapolitan flights. My indulgent moment for myself morphed into an opportunity for some sweet treats for the family also (and more for me too… of course). 

Looking for a sweet little indulgence for you (and maybe your family)? Check out this fun idea for a Neapolitan flight. Looking for a sweet little indulgence for you (and maybe your family)? Check out this fun idea for a Neapolitan flight. Looking for a sweet little indulgence for you (and maybe your family)? Check out this fun idea for a Neapolitan flight. Looking for a sweet little indulgence for you (and maybe your family)? Check out this fun idea for a Neapolitan flight.

And yes, T didn’t let a single drop go to waste.

Looking for a sweet little indulgence for you (and maybe your family)? Check out this fun idea for a Neapolitan flight.

Finishing the Rest

Today, I’ll be sitting at my computer while hired movers (thanks to my husband’s employer) pack up our belongings, load them on to a truck, and drive them half way across the country. I hope to get a little bit of work done, but I know routine disruptions will make for a rather unproductive day. No worries ethical-self, I scheduled vacation on my work calendar, so I’m not pretending to put in a full day.

I won’t be walking to work anymore. I’ll have to squeeze in my steps and find time to listen to my much anticipated podcasts in other ways. I’m sure I’ll make it work.

But for now, there is still some leftover ice cream in the fridge, and we have to eat it before we leave, right? So cheers to one last bowl of the Häagen-Dazs ice cream that accompanied me on my last walk from my desk back to our well-loved Chicago apartment.

You Could Win $10,000

Be sure to grab yourself some Häagen-Dazs from 7-Eleven for your own sweet moment. When you do, enter a great sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 1000’s of prizes. Just text ‘aah” to 35350 for receipt submission instructions. You could win a $10,000 grand prize as well as custom äah boxes including items like bamboo ice cream bowls and an ice cream scooper, $75 Amazon gift cards, $25 7-Eleven gift cards and more to craft the perfect delicious sweet treat moment for yourself. Not bad for enjoying a little ice cream in the summer, right?

Think your commute has to be stressful and arduous? Think again! Check out these ideas to start loving your commute today!

Wondering what family life living in the city is like? Here's one thing every family loves about urban living!
← Previous
Best of City Living: Casual Summer Evening Stroll
Need some great ideas for free activities for families in Chicago? Check out these 7 perfect spots for kids to play in downtown Chicago - all free!
Next →
7 Perfect Summer Play Areas for Kids in Downtown Chicago

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

cathy

Thursday 30th of June 2016

I really love this and how you pay tribute a having a wonderful walking commute! Best of luck to you in your new city and job! {client}

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.