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6 Ways to Amuse Yourself During Long Commutes

For me, a long commute usually means more time for naps, or maybe time to catch up on missed lectures (or missed episodes of that TV show). On the other hand, if you’re more exciting than me and are looking for more novel ways to spend your time commuting, maybe these 6 activities are for you.

1. Collect Snapchat Geofilters 

For those of you fortunate enough to have wi-fi or data during your ride, try collecting all the Geofilters of the places you pass by on the way to your destination! It takes a surprising amount of diligence and it’s also fun to see the creativity of all the different communities out there. 

Of course, if you have the ability to see Geofilters, you must also have the ability to access the rest of the worldwide web so you might not have much use for the rest of this list… 

2. Knit something

Knitting is great because it’s one of those activities where you can measurably see your progress. It’s also super calming once you get into the rhythm of things. So grab two knitting needles and a ball of yarn and arrive at your destination with a new homemade scarf or pair of mittens! (Any other DIY activity involving the creation of a nifty end-product will work as well!) 

3. Try your hand at a REALLY difficult brain teaser

For those of you looking for a more intellectually stimulating exercise, I would recommend trying to solve a tough crossword or logic puzzle. It’ll take some time, but you’ll feel like a genius once you’ve solved it. “Einstein’s Riddle” is a good starting point if you’re looking for a more challenging riddle to work out. 

4. Plan out your “Happily Ever After” story 

This isn’t meant to be like one of those times when you’re in your guidance counsellor’s office trying to work out what you want to do with your degree or anything. This is more like a story-telling exercise, where you are the main character. This story doesn’t have to be realistic in any way either — just put together every single dream or ambition of yours into a single story! What kind of house do you want to live in? What skills do you want to master? Where do you want to travel? How do you want to be buried? These are all questions that you can think about as you plan out the epic tale of your life. The best part? You’re not obliged to follow through with this story at all! It’s just meant to give you happy vibes as you think about all the possible “what if’s” in your life. 

5. Have a picnic

Who says that picnics have to be enjoyed outdoors? Pack a bunch of different snack foods and treat yourself to a picnic right from the comfort of your train seat. Of course, you might want to avoid making a mess if you are commuting, so stick to foods that are delicious yet not especially susceptible to crumbling, spilling, or staining. Pretzels (especially yogurt-covered ones), nuts, blueberries, and grilled-cheese are among my favourite snack foods for long commutes.

6. Take a nap

Now I know I said that these 6 activities are for people looking for more novel ways to spend a commute, but napping is always a good decision when you have to sit around for a couple of hours anyway. It’s a super low-maintenance activity which requires absolutely no preparation at all!

So what do you think? Are long commutes still boring, or are they an opportunity to try things that you normally wouldn’t do? 


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Michelle is a graduate student at McGill University studying the intersection between diet and cancer. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sampling poutine restaurants, and taking pictures of flowers. 
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