The trip between NYC and the Poconos is derided by many and can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s better than riding a crowded subway through Manhattan every day.
So my family and I moved from New York City to Stroudsburg, PA in March of this year. I’ll be honest, I was scared at first. So was my wife. We had never owned a house and we didn’t know but a handful of people over here. Worst of all were the scary tales about the bus commute to NYC. We were just hoping for the best.
The First Week Is a Breeze
Sleeping in a bus can be complicated, sure. If you’re not used to it, I’d suggest actually trying the commute before you close in a property to get a feel for it. I for one was never able to sleep in a moving car even on long trips. But the reality here is different. You’re inside the bus for two hours each way every day and everyone else is just as
willing to pass out as you are. Within a few minutes the bus is quiet like a ghost town. Everyone is gone asleep, no lights are on and no phones are lit up. In fact it’s quieter than home a lot of times, with the kids waking up in the middle of the night. I brought a pillow from home (which I still use to this day), put it against the window and was gone before I knew it. The biggest scare was definitely past us.
Beware My Child, Beware!
And the “warnings” of the most seasoned residents telling that within a few weeks or months I’d feel otherwise also turned to be unfounded. In fact you learn to use that time to your advantage. It takes a bit longer for the bus to quiet down, but after you reach New Jersey the bus quiets down sooner or later. If on your way in you’re catching up with your sleep, the way back is definitely time to catch up with your emails, social media (in my case I had plenty to do on LinkedIn), reading and so on.
Better than the Alternative
So yes, the way back is not so quiet, but it beats standing up in a crowded subway to Queens any time. There’s nobody bumping against you along the way but the eventual person you’re sharing the seat with. No worries about holding on to contaminated surfaces. No crazies coming in yelling. No people using the bus as a trash can or toilet. In fact if you need to use one
you can just walk all the way in the back and do so. If somebody gets sick your bus won’t get stuck in the middle of the freeway, delaying in the process every other bus behind it. The reality is that riding a bus through a major interstate at 4 or 5am is a lot more reliable than the subway.
I’m inside the office at 6:15am. Fifteen minutes later if I decide to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge rather than bike. That’s gold time to catch up on what happened the day before. At least a couple hours of undisturbed work. Definitely not bad.
It turns out that it’s all a matter of perspective. So when people jump back in awe when they find out my commute is over 4 hours long, I just smile and answer back “Oh yeah, and I’m loving it!”
To be continued in a future post.