You think your journey into work is bad? Spare a thought for these global commuters.
On 29 October 1986, Margaret Thatcher cut the final ribbon on the #M25. Since then, the motorway meant to make our lives easier, has seen endless traffic jams, caused #commuting misery and inspired at least one song.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average commute in the UK outside London is 24 minutes, but you can almost double that for the Smoke, where it’s 44 minutes. Even worse, 16 per cent of Londoners take an hour or more to get to the office. That’s three times the national average.
But if we think our journeys to work are bad, how do they compare to some of the world’s commutes? Do we actually have it easy?
Getting up at 3.30am
Let’s start at home first. Gary Egan lives in Wales and works in Watford. He has to get up at 3.30am every day for a three-hour drive to work. That’s six hours round-trip. For some reason, he also has a photographer hiding in his bedroom.
Top Gear on Bolivia’s Death Road
So you’re a Bolivian shoe salesman and you need to take some flip-flops to the market. Thankfully, the drive is only 38 miles. Easy, right? Except the road is tiny and has a sheer drop on the side. Even the Top Gear crew had some pretty hairy moments as they drove along it. (Even scarier, imagine having to commute sitting next to Jeremy Clarkson.)
The Zipline School Run
Do you think combining commuting with the school run is stressful? Spare a thought for villagers in Guayabetal, Colombia. Their commute is across a zipline over a 1,200ft deep ravine. Fun for kids, terrifying for adults.
Being Squashed on a #Tokyo Train
Getting to work in London on the tube is stressful enough; it’s all arms and elbows and nowhere to sit. But imagine if it was so bad that you needed a conductor to push you into a carriage. Honestly, this is a commute even sardines would complain about; being eaten on toast would be sweet relief.
The Brazilian Traffic Jam
Everyone thinks their traffic jams are the worst. But could Sao Paolo really have the most awful jams in the world? Maybe. I mean, on a normal day they’re 112 miles long. They’ve been up to 183 miles. How does commuting work over there, then? Do you have to leave home on Monday to get to the office on Friday?
I’m never going to complain about a commute again. Well, no. Of course I will, but maybe I’ll moan a little bit less.
Do you have any commuting horror stories? Let us know in the comments.
Are you trying to find your work-life balance? We’ve got more tips and advice for you: