Seven years ago when I moved from Ohio to Ontario travelling wasn’t a burden.
I’d spent the previous eleven years living in a small town. Going almost anwhere – church, the grocery store, school, the gas station – required a vehicle. Sidewalks existed mostly in the older sections of town and not all of them were well-maintained. Often my mom and I would take a twenty or thirty minute walk without seeing anyone else on the sidewalk.
Friends would sometimes say, “I saw you out walking last weekend. Is everything ok?” It was assumed that the only reason someone would walk is because they didn’t have enough money to drive (or had lost their license).
Enter Toronto, the walkable city.
Coming from my background it was strange at first to “share” the sidewalk with other people. Sometimes there would be so many people walking that everyone walked single file for several blocks!
I loved the idea of visiting three or four different stores without once climbing into or out of a vehicle but it was kind of funny to hear Torontonian friends say, “You want me to travel an hour just to go to dinner? That’s too far away!”
Fast forward to 2012. I’m turning into one of those Torontonians.
An hour or two of travelling on it’s own doesn’t sound too bad until you realize you have to do the same trip to get back home. Before anything else happens, then, you’ve already spent 2-4 hours of your day just travelling.
Once you arrive at your destination you’ll probably spend at least that much time- if not more – eating dinner, socializing and participating in other activities. It wouldn’t make sense to spend more time travelling than you do at your destination, after all.
Suddenly a “one hour” trip turns into a full 8-hour day and that’s if there are no public transit delays and everyone moves smoothly from one activity to the next.
I don’t want to become one of those people who stays in the same neighbourhood all of the time…but I’m really beginning to understand why it happens.
A one hour trip just for a meal? That’s too far away!
How has moving to a new area or spending time with new friends changed how you think?