Right Now with Kevin Teater
- What I’m Listening to – Rend Collective
- What I’m Reading – Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (almost done!)
- What I’m Watching – These days it is mostly University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill basketball
- What I’m Doing – Chilling next to my dog on the couch after eating dinner
Last week, one of our ELGL friends shared why she loves her long commute. It was thought-provoking for me, a passionate urbanist who lives less than a two-minute walk to work. I love my short commute, and I am grateful to live, work, and play within a one-mile radius. Here are a few reasons why:
- I have time to unwind at home. My walk helps clear my head. I can safely call friends and family without worrying about crashing a two-ton vehicle. This all improves my mental and emotional health.
- I get to see my dog at lunch. She sometimes even gets to walk to work with me!
- I walk past several local businesses and get to know the owners. My community of 100,000 now feels a little like Mayberry, as these community members yell out “Hey Kevin!” and we wave to each other.
- Cars can be isolating. People move from their living room to the garage to their car to work without having a meaningful interaction with another human. It’s no wonder so many of us are lonely, despite living near so many people. A simple walk to work helps me feel a little more connected, and a little more loved.
- Walking helps me experience my city in a more personal and intimate way. I see where sidewalks need fixing. I feel where it feels dangerous and unsafe. I experience the little alleyways and hidden pedestrian paths. I walk through parks full of holiday lights, shooting fountains, and laughing children. I even get to (literally) stop and smell roses the size of my head.
- It’s good for the environment! Transportation accounts for about a third of the climate changing emissions in the United States. I am happy to live a more environmentally sustainable life.
- Walking and biking are affordable. I got a flat tire on my bike a couple weeks ago. Instead of the expensive charge of a car tire, I paid five dollars for a new tire and repaired the bike myself. Furthermore, when I make a purchase like this, virtually all of that money stays in my local economy.
Now that I have had the opportunity to live this lifestyle, I don’t think I could ever do anything different. My quality of life skyrocketed once I was able to get rid of my car and enjoy my short commute. I know this style of living isn’t for everyone, but it sure has been good for me. I’d like to think that it’s good for my community as well.