Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To Commute or Not To Commute ...

When I was in my 30s, I used to commute into Paris every day and thought nothing of the one-hour drive each way. At twice that age, I no longer feel so serene about getting in a car and driving to work. In fact, I’ve decided I really do not enjoy commuting to Cape Cod every weekend. Give me a solid winter month or two in the city, and I’m happy. That’s what Sven and I had last year. We lived in Cambridge for two months while a friend house-sat. For 2012, Sven decided to stay in Wellfleet, which means I must travel back and forth. I hate to think of all the gasoline the Volvo consumes. Wasteful, wasteful. I could take the bus, true. I have friends who swear by the bus. And, I do take it on an occasional basis, but what can I say? I simply prefer to drive. The two elements to consider are 1.) comfort, and 2.) speed. Every weekend, back and forth by bus, at 65, does not compute. Also, I usually stop in Orleans and food-shop along the way.

I have known Wellfleetians who actually worked in Boston and commuted every day. One woman would carpool to the Barnstable lot and take the bus from there, Monday through Friday. I have also encountered a few people who have the means to fly from Provincetown and back. (The fortunate few!) And, I’ve met professors who work in Providence, and come to the Cape on weekends. I don’t think I could do that. Because another problem is what happens once you return to Wellfleet. All it takes is one look at, say, Long Pond for instance, and a person wonders why he/she ever left in the first place.

Two hours, with no traffic, is one long drive. I cannot imagine doing that every day.

One of the conundrums the Economic Development Committee has been examining is how to increase the number of folks who live in Wellfleet and work from home. How does a town attract professionals with young children, interested in living year-round?

What’s your take on commuting? Do you do it? How long is your commute? Would you consider commuting to Boston or Providence for work? What would it take to get you to move your online business to Wellfleet?