Fifteen Years On

Looking back, it’s fifteen years ago today that I passed the driving test.

It took me a long time to get it done, and for the longest time I wasn’t bothered at all about driving.  But now I wouldn’t be without it.

Indeed, if I lost my licence now, it would mean a total change for me – I’d have to move, reconsider work and so on. It would be a massive upheaval in so many ways.

For example, I looked recently at my commute on Google Maps (I do this sometimes, just to check on what the traffic’s like on my route) and saw the other travel-method options at the top. Driving from home to my office is (on average) a 20-minute drive, door-to-door. It’s pretty much my shortest commute ever (I had a stint while in Bury St Edmunds where it was slightly shorter, but not by much) and yet if I were to do it by public transport, it would take me two-and-a-quarter hours! (There is a route at specific times that would be a 50 minute bus-ride, but also drops me at the other end of Milton Keynes, so would then be a two-mile-ish walk – and that route doesn’t run at the times I commute in to my office)

In similar vein, visiting my parents is a simple hour’s drive. Public transport? It’d be three hours on a good day.

Even a simple journey to London Euston (which I can usually do in 75 mins – driving and then tube down to Euston) would be at least double that by public transport.

And my archery club? Forget it, no chance at all.

So just on that tiny subset of what I regularly do, life would be hugely different without driving. When you take into account the extra stuff – the on-site client days, the weekends away, the visits to friends, the idiot day-trips – it would now be a completely different life if I weren’t driving. Not necessarily a better or worse one, but a very different one.

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