A frustrating 40-minute drive turned into a refreshing 20-minute walk today and I feel on top of the world.
I run a startup called DiscountIf which is based at the TAKEOFF business incubator at the University of Malta. When I used to live in Msida, I would walk there everyday. But since moving into a new place in Sliema, close to the Balluta area, I got into the nasty habit of driving to work instead.
My fiancée still walks to her place of work. Her walk is nearly 4km each way. She’s been passing all sorts of comments about how lazy I am until this week I finally decided it’s time to switch back to walking!
I don’t want to over romanticize the walk, but it is fair to say that time just slowed down. I noticed we have a fish van that parks around the corner. I had never seen that. I proudly walked passed blocked roads enjoying my serene lack of road rage. I saw some beautiful old buildings in my neighbourhood which I had never seen before.
You should try it out, you’d be amazed what you see.
"I don’t want to over romanticize the walk, but it is fair to say that time just slowed down. I noticed we have a fish van that parks around the corner. I had never seen that."
The walk from my home to my office took me 20 minutes. And I’m not a particularly fast walker. At this time of year by car it takes me at least 35 minutes so I felt quite good about the time gained.
But the real gain was psychological. It’s a very calming experience walking to work. I did not need to swear at anyone and I was the ‘king’ of my own route, which I find is very important to Maltese people.
I did arrive slightly more flustered than normal. However, there is a good feeling you get when it comes out of exercise rather than out of frustration. Extremely important difference!
The bottom line is that like most others, my commute is a frustratingly long drive for a short distance. All this intertwined with a generally unpleasant driving experience, and an almost impossible task of parking when arriving at University or Sliema.
"I did arrive slightly more flustered than normal. However, there is a good feeling you get when it comes out of exercise rather than out of frustration. Extremely important difference!"
In my particular case, things get absolutely impossible at this time of year when schools AND University open. It’s a whole other ball game especially when looking for parking at University. There is literally nowhere to park! So you also need to factor in how long it takes to find parking, and how long it would take to walk to your final destination.
If walking to work is impossible, there are alternatives too.
At a previous company I used to work for I used to cycle to work, which also then led to me completing LifeCycle that year. I like it, especially for longer distances. It also helps if your office is equipped to leave your bike in a safe place, and have a shower.
Haven’t yet tried car-sharing, however there is this awesome startup who sit next to us who just launched an app for university students. Love the name of the app, it’s called BUMALIFT.
I’ve recently been considering getting an electric motorbike. It looks just like a classic motorino, however it runs on electricity.
I’ve travelled to over 60 countries backpacking, and in most countries where it made sense to have motorbikes people used them. Sounds obvious when you say it, but Malta seems to be one of the exceptions!