When I first started at Indium Corporation, I was full of excitement and determination. In fact, I was so focused on the end goal of my project. I did not even think about what challenges I may come across, like the hour-long drive to and from work every day. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, I had been to the Utica area many times, whether it was to visit friends, or just as a pit stop to grab some pizza on a long road trip up North. I originally didn't mind the drive as it was still new to me, and all I could think about is how excited I was to be a part of Indium Corporation. However, slowly but surely, the drive seemed longer and longer as the days of my internship went on.
"Are you crazy?" "Isn't that tiring?" "Wow... you must be getting killed on gas!" These phrases became a norm to hear each day, but I was determined to make the most out of my travels. If only I had a chauffeur – that way I could just sit in the back and play Donkey Kong, eat a full course meal, and sleep! Man, that'd be nice. Unfortunately, I didn't have such a luxury, so I had to be creative on my drives.
I began my commutes just listening to music. Who doesn't love jamming out to their favorite tunes on their way to the best job ever! But that quickly got old as my search for new music came up short. I turned to my favorite podcasts to make the time go by quicker. These are often my favorite to listen to on long drives because there is always something you can learn from them. I have always been a fan of learning new things, whether it is how to gain financial freedom, why the sky is blue, or if butterflies actually taste with their feet (fun fact: they do).
Even though I love learning new things and I am always eager to find new music I will enjoy, I needed something else to make the commute seem shorter. I am sure everyone has played the license plate game – how many states can you spot on a long road trip? This was my go-to activity to pass the time. However, I also started counting how many cars of a specific color I pass each day: red, white, and hot pink. Yes, I can say I have seen a hot pink Toyota Rav 4 glistening in the early sun. I even counted how many tractor trailers I pass on my daily commute (since I am mostly on a major highway).
Now that I know the words to nearly every Luke Combs song; have learned why woodpeckers don't get headaches; counted 87 red cars, 43 green cars, and one lonely hot pink car; saw license plates from 17 different states (in one commute); and passed 23 tractor trailers, I can now say I no longer dread the long drive to work every day. Creativity has not always been a strong suit of mine, but when it became necessary to pass the time, I quickly learned to pick it up and apply it. Even though two hours of driving is a lot, I have found ways to make it quite enjoyable and painless.
See you on the next trip,