3m people spend 2 hours commuting; is there a way to do it happily?
Well, like most things, it all depends. On the mode of transport, whether you get a seat, and most importantly your state of mind. Personally, when I travel back from London to Newbury I absolutely don't check the train times from Paddington. That way I don't stress about the tube getting me there on time or the slow amble of the people in front of me. And if I miss a train, I find a seat and read for an hour.
I never expected to be a commuter. In my 20s and 30s, the very word seemed to encapsulate the humdrum, the subjugation of the soul to an uncaring railway timetable. That was then. Returning to London in my 40s from a long spell abroad brought the shock of London house prices but also an infatuation with Brighton with its sea views, eccentric shops and green surrounding hills.
So now I am one of the 3 million Britons who spend over two hours of each day travelling. In fact, I’m not just a commuter. It is far worse than my younger self could ever have imagined. He would at this point have cringed into a ball of embarrassed horror. I am, in many ways, a happy commuter.”