Far, far away

I was talking to some friends the other day and we were discussing locations of places we wanted to go eat. I suggested a place and was immediately shot down because it was too far away from though, even though it was near me. Apparently 20 minutes away is too far. They then suggested someplace that was a lot closer to them because it was more convenient for them. Never mind that it was going to take me 30 minutes to get there.

I’ve discovered this a lot in the DC metro area. Due to traffic, everyone wants to find a job that is either 1) extremely close to them or 2) telecommute. You basically don’t want to leave your bubble because then you end up having an hour plus commute thanks to traffic. If you are one of the lucky few that can find a place near you, you basically never want to go anywhere because you don’t have to and you’re not used to driving places. It’s really interesting how some people have lived in this area for DECADES and have never really traveled into DC or even explored the area around them. Heck I know people who’ve never crossed state lines ever and we’re RIGHT next to Maryland AND West Virginia (and vice versa)!

On the other hand, if you DO have a slightly long commute, while it can get really frustrating being STUCK in traffic, you find that distance isn’t really a big deal. You don’t mind driving places because as long as you’re moving, hey it’s shorter than your commute! It also helps if you like exploring. A lot of neighborhoods and cities in this area have it so that technically you could find everything you want within 5 miles around you.

Not for me. I like to explore. I think it’s because growing up, our family didn’t go to many places for vacation. If we ever traveled it was to visit family for reunions or because someone got married. Even then, not counting two trips to Malaysia, the furthest we ever went was to Michigan and it was strictly for the family get together and not for any sightseeing. Heck, my parents live about 25 miles from the beach and in the 27 years they’ve lived there, they’ve never once been.

I realize that some people don’t like getting out of their comfort zone. Also once you have a family, I know it’s harder to travel even if it’s somewhere just half an hour away. Since I’m just by myself, it’s usually easier for me to come to someone vs forcing them to come out to me. I don’t mind so much though it can get a bit frustrating when I do suggest something and all I hear are complaints.

I chalk this all up to comfort zone and priorities. Right now, I’m in explore mode. And I’ll enjoy making distance seem not so far away as long as I can.

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