FIRE.014 Local exploration (driving)

Oh, the traffic. Even if you love your job, it’s likely possible you hate getting there and may stress out leaving at the end of the day because of the traffic. Do you dread having to drive somewhere, especially on freeways, or worse on a two lane road that is backed up for what seems like miles?

One of the worst parts of my day during much my career was the commute to/from work. The headache of the 6-9a and 4-7p compression windows. Self-driving cars may relieve so much stress in the future that we end up living longer. Google cars may obliterate social security with our longer less stressful—and more elderly independent—lives. Note to self: find a way to make some money from this new industry.

Oh, back on track…In so many places the freeways are much quieter most hours of the day, with far fewer vehicles on the road non-rush hours and it seems to me, often less stressed out drivers. Ever notice how when you’re on vacation you can move around the roads at a lot easier mid-day or later in the evening? This led to my exploration ideas in FIRE.

My wife and I now have the time, and ability to get out and about during the day. We can schedule our activities, appointments and errands between 9a-3p when there is so much less activity than during rush hour or weekends. Hate waiting in line at store checkouts? Just go mid-day when everyone else is working. We might save 5-10 minutes in each store. (more time to shop/spend—bad)

Staycation is normally considered going to a local resort or entertainment center, but there are probably dozens of attractions in your local area that “locals” only see if they are taking a visitor. Maybe exploring in depth your town/area is a great idea. There are always blog posts about all the free/low costs things to do, now it the time and opportunity to seek those out.

We hear about time-shifting our TV viewing for convenience and skipping commercials to save time, how about time-shifting your errands?

NOTE: more exploration leads to more driving/gas and more spending of money. My wife and I are not seeing the whole “in retirement you will spend 80% of….” logic.   Then again, we never spent up to 100% of our income so it’s a stupid baseline for smart, detailed people who maintain a great cash flow structure.

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