Extreme Commuting: 2009 Travel in Review
Doing anything three times or more on a blog almost makes it annual custom, so I wasn't going to disappoint. This year's travel was about 50% less in mileage than in 2008: 41,902 miles compared to 2008's 82,000 miles or so. But the map's not a global one. It's highly localised. Something's up.
While fewer miles have been flown, most of this travel has been done in what Mark Penn spotted a decade ago and coined as "Extreme Commuting". That is, I've been one of a couple of hundred people who regularly make the commute from Scotland to London each and every week for work, often coming back within 18 hours of leaving home. It's a trend that, thankfully, is becoming less and less common as companies feel the economic pain of sending someone around the world for face-to-face time. In January I noticed that my plane was less about 30 suited and booted regulars from the previous six months. By August, they had been replaced by tourists filling up cheap seats on their way home to the States and the Far East.
Extreme commuting is tiring by its regularity, bad food at weird times, and the sneaking suspicion that your constantly stuffed-up nose is related to the circulated air you consume four times a week. You feel hungover for the day before and after your extreme commute, regardless, I'm afraid to say, of how much fun with a bottle of shiraz you have actually had.
Heading into the new year, I'm not sure the amount of travel will decrease too much, but it will be on longer adventures, to hotter places, and just a few of them. Some of them, dear reader, might even be to see you. Bring on 2010.