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Old 05-23-2015, 03:46 PM   #21
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We all have different tolerance levels for commuting and value other things to spend time on differently. I always looked at it that once you deducted mealtimes, dress time, etc you really only have maybe 2-3 free hours of discretionary time each week day which makes commuting a real "quality" time gobbler. My first job out of college was downtown St. Louis with an hour drive mainly on I-70. I swore I would never ever have that again. After that commutes were never more than 15-20 minutes. That's MY value system; you have to apply your own. Heck, now I won't even leave the house during the modest "rush" hours here to run errands! I don't mind driving, it's the other drivers I can't stand!
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:42 PM   #22
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For 20+ years, I had a 15- minute commute each way. Then, two years ago, my company moved to a new location and my commute increased to 50 minutes in the morning (if I was on the road by 6:00 am) and an hour in the afternoon. No highway driving-- all local roads with stop lights. When it snowed, forget about it. The new commute was horrible. I resented losing 1.5 hours per day, my mood was terrible, and I had very little time to exercise or pursue other hobbies. The new commute was a big factor for me to ER.
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:52 PM   #23
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I work a lot of shift work, so my hours rarely align with normal traffic flows, but it is not generally in a large city. All highway, any traffic usually only adds a 5-10 minute delay during rush hour, otherwise it is a smooth 75 mph. It is about 52 miles though.
I had a similar schedule and commuted 43 miles each way for 21 years. My j*b was in downtown Milwaukee and my home is on 40 acres. I found the most stressful part of the commute involved the last 15 minutes of the trip, which I would have had to deal with even if I had lived in an inner-ring suburb.

The biggest unanticipated hazard was wildlife, especially deer (my commute home was usually after dark). I recall at least four car-deer collisions on the way home from w*rk; only one resulted in significant damage, fortunately. But I remain a little twitchy while driving at night on rural roads.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:09 PM   #24
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My longest commute was 35 minutes and I grew to hate it even though the employer was paying for the car and gas. When the divorce happened and the house sold I swore I'd never do that again. But like H2ODude notes people's tolerances vary widely - I've known people with an hour and a half commute that they said was relaxing.

Do you have an alternate if your main route is closed for a wreck? That would be a major factor for me too. Some of those major truck wrecks can take most of a day or night to clear.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:15 PM   #25
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I consider commuting literally burning hours of your life away. Think about it, thats 10 hours a week you lose, that's a lot of your discretionary time.
I feel the same way about long commutes.
When it came time to buy, I chose a house that was six minutes from work. Most of my co-workers had much fancier homes in upscale communities an hour from work, but not me.

After work, I'd zip home, get a cold drink, kick off my shoes, put my feet up, and watch the traffic reports on TV. For the next hour, while my co-workers were battling traffic, I was relaxing at home. To me this was much better. In the mornings, I'd set the alarm for 5:30 and I'd be sitting at my desk by 6:00 AM.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:27 PM   #26
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I drive 84 miles round trip everyday. All hiway miles, only one stop light. It takes about 45 minutes going in at 5:00. a.m. Coming home is a crap shoot. It can take anywhere from the same 45 minutes to 3 hours... I really hate it now, can't believe I've been doing this for almost 30 freaking years... I can't even begin to calculate the time I've wasted setting behind that steering wheel...
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:00 PM   #27
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.....Don't get me wrong, there are other areas we would consider living but both are about a 35 minute drive to work. The way I look at it, we get our dream location for an extra 15 minutes each way. My wife does not currently work, so it would only be me doing the commute. I used to have a 45 minute communte each way and felt the drive helped me relax after work before getting home. Also, with family in town, it would be easier for her to pickup some work as well.

What do you guys think? Did anyway else commute almost an hour by choice? I'm a little worried it may get old after a while. Just looking for other opinions to help us decide on what to do here.
I don't perceive the difference between a 35 minute commute at your second choice and a 50 minute commute from your dream location to be sufficiently different to forgo your dream location. Actually, the long commute sounds like a great opportunity to justify getting a nice set of wheels for the commute that will make the commute more enjoyable.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:18 PM   #28
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Around here, you trade a long commute for an affordable house. For many years, I commuted into NYC on the train. It took me 2 hrs door-to-door, one-way,or 4 hours of commuting every day. As Sarah said earlier, it really takes the life out of you to spend that much time commuting. For the past several years, my commute has been a one hour drive each way (if there are no traffic accidents). Still long by most standards, but a veritable lifesaver compared to years past.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:52 PM   #29
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Go for the home life preference. I did a 90 minute commute (1 way) for 15 years - you'll find ways to use the time in the car.
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:18 PM   #30
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You say it is a 50 minute commute on highway roads, what about winter driving? Will that alter the commute time?

I spent 4 years commuting 45-50 minutes one way on good days, but many days were not good and it took much longer. I also worked long hours and it meant I left in the morning before the family woke up, and by the time I got home I had about an hour of time with the kids before they went to bed.

I accepted the commute because my employer was in a high crime area of a big city. We chose a suburb with great schools and idyllic neighborhoods for the kids. They loved it, but I lived almost a completely separate life from my family. After awhile I came to loathe the commute, but accepted it as a necessary evil because of the benefits afforded to my family.

You have to weigh your personal costs for you and your family against the benefits that you think you will gain against the other alternatives that you might have. It's an incredibly personnel choice. I gave my family a high quality of life, but at the same time I was largely absent from it.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:51 PM   #31
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I have an hour commute, partly on rural roads and then some heavy congestion in town. It is killing me. I've been doing it over 10 years and it has really started wearing me down on both ends of the day.
Not really any other option for me but to suck it up, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. That's a long time to spend in the car each and every day, I can tell you.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:58 PM   #32
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Go for the home life preference. I did a 90 minute commute (1 way) for 15 years - you'll find ways to use the time in the car.
If it's heavy traffic, then most of us really need to focus and cant spend concentration on French tapes or something. I've never been able to optimize my traffic sitting.

In the past eight years, I've been rear ended twice and rear ended someone else. I reckon I average passing three fender benders each day. Hopefully only 3-5 years to go.
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:30 PM   #33
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I've driven an hour to work for over 26 years. That's a combination of traffic and a long distance. I can make the journey in 40 minutes on the weekend without traffic.

I pass the time listening to sports talk radio usually. For years it did not bother me that bad and I knew my family enjoyed the place we live. But now it gets very old and I'm pretty sick of it. Seems traffic gets worse every year. When it rains my trip expands to 1.5 hours. Alternate routes are all clogged up.

Look forward to kissing the daily commute bye bye. But I'm glad my family has enjoyed our suburb where we live.

I'd recommend giving it a go for a while. Guess you can change if you hate it. At least you don't have traffic to deal with. That's what usually frustrates me the most. Too bad everyone doesn't drive as good as me .

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Old 05-24-2015, 06:46 PM   #34
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Since I started a "real job", I've never had a compute > 15 minutes on a good day (bad days are blizzards, torrential rainfall closing streets and tornadoes downing trees). Bad days are few and far between (every year or so).

Before that, I was a young (19-24) farmer. I sometimes (at seeding time) got off the tractor at 10:00 PM, drove 1.25 hr to GFs place. Spent part of the night and was back on the tractor at 05:00 AM. I might have done this for 4 days straight. Ain't hormones wonderful?

Would I do it for the foreseeable future? Would I stick thorns in my eyes?
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:51 PM   #35
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This thread reminds me of a location I was assigned to for a few mo. On a task force of 10. Far end of the city, 41 miles one way for me, 59 miles for one of the supervisors.

One guy lived 5 minutes from this office.

We all had Nextel push to talk phones, with group contact feature.

4 pm on a Friday , most of us were just starting the commute from hell on the way home." Mr. 5 minutes from the office " hits us all , wants us to listen to" 2 strange noises at his house". First noise sounded like a garage door opener , second noise , beer can opening
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:36 AM   #36
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I moved frequently in the military, and my commuting time varied from 10 minutes to as much as 70 minutes (on a normal day). Anything over about 30 minutes was pure torture for me.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:36 AM   #37
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My Mom and stepdad moved down to Southern Maryland back in 1989, and did the long commute thing for awhile. They moved down there because you could get more house/land for your money. Over time, it's grown up down there and gotten more congested, so I'm sure the commute times have gotten longer. They were commuting together, with my stepdad dropping Mom off at her job and then going on into his job. Total commute was around 130 miles, round trip.


They did that jig for about 22 years. Mom retired in 2011 and my stepdad took an early-out a few months later. They seemed to get through it okay, but I know I wouldn't want to do it! The longest commute I ever had was maybe 30-35 minutes, and for the last 11 1/2 years, my commute has been 4 miles or less (took a different job position that moved me 2.5 miles from home about 4 1/2 years ago).


I guess I took more after my grandparents. Grandmom worked at Glenn Dale Hospital, about 2 miles away, and Granddad worked at a government farm/plant introduction station, which was slightly closer. Both are closed down now, and gradually returning to nature. I've heard stories about how Grandmom and her friends would come home on their lunch break to watch "The Young and the Restless". That was probably a big deal at the time...I guess these days if you want to watch something on your lunch break, you just stream it on your phone or computer or whatever.
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:59 AM   #38
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I've been making a 45-50 minute commute (each way) for 17 years now. Mine is mostly interstate cruise control driving between two cities so low on traffic issues, except when there is major construction going on. My family, friends, and after work activities are all in the community where I live so my choices were either to drive to work everyday, or drive to play at night and on the weekends. I've chosen the commute. By the time I get home, get in some exercise, get cleaned up and grab something to eat, it's usually about 7:00. Bedtime for me is 9:30ish, so 2.5 hours of downtime at night.

As others have posted, it is a time suck that is difficult to obtain any value from besides the paycheck. I listen to NPR to stay current on the national news. For 5 years I carpooled with a coworker and that really helped. We lived close enough to pick each other up so our cars stayed in the garage and I could nap on alternate days. We were very compatible and I think a two person carpool is the ideal number, if you can swing it.

About two years ago they moved our team to a location that was ~20 minutes further away. The extra distance also involved city traffic and many more stop lights. It was the worst. After 16 years in the same division, I took another job (still with megacorp) to get my commute back to what it was before so there is a limit to what I would put up with. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was putting in an extra 40 minutes a day for the same paycheck I was getting prior to the move.

In the past 5 years, working from home has gotten a lot easier (technology and flexible bosses), so I no longer have to drive if the roads are really bad. Also, I regularly work from home on Fridays, which is a great help. I've looked into finding a job in my home community, but my megacorp gig pays too well and I'm close enough to the finish line that I plan to hang on until I hit my number.

The OP mentioned a 52 mile commute which translates to more than an hour door to door in my experience. That's 2 hours a day so I'm in the camp that says rent if you can to try this out before you resettle your family.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:15 AM   #39
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I where both families (my wife and my own) live. We haven't lived close to family in the last 5 years and it would be really nice to be that close to help with our 1 year old (and we have one on the way).
...
Don't get me wrong, there are other areas we would consider living but both are about a 35 minute drive to work. The way I look at it, we get our dream location for an extra 15 minutes each way. My wife does not currently work, so it would only be me doing the commute. I used to have a 45 minute communte each way and felt the drive helped me relax after work before getting home. Also, with family in town, it would be easier for her to pickup some work as well.
OP - you haven't clarified my question about daycare - will someone be dropping off the kids at one of their grandparents' houses each day (or will grandparents be coming over to watch them)? If so, how much would the drive be from your current location to their house, vs in your "dream" location? Someone's got to make that drive, and it would probably be a longer drive to the grandparents' house than your extra commute to work. Especially if the wife will pick up a job.

So it sounds like it could actually be a net time decrease if you factor in dropping off the kids each day at the relatives' houses.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:44 AM   #40
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Around here, you trade a long commute for an affordable house. For many years, I commuted into NYC on the train. It took me 2 hrs door-to-door, one-way,or 4 hours of commuting every day. As Sarah said earlier, it really takes the life out of you to spend that much time commuting. For the past several years, my commute has been a one hour drive each way (if there are no traffic accidents). Still long by most standards, but a veritable lifesaver compared to years past.
I worked in NYC or nearby for all 23 years I worked and commuted from Long Island on the LIRR nearly all of that time. I took the trains to work because driving to NYC was unthinkable. I was happy to be able to reduce my one-way commute to an hour early in my commuting years and not have to change LIRR trains before switching to the subway at either Brooklyn or Penn Station. At least I didn't have to use my car to drive to the station and have to deal with parking at the station, starting with my third year of commuting.

When my company moved from lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey in early 2001, my commute worsened. Having to use the PATH trains added about 10-15 minutes to the commute each way, and switching to using the PATH trains was a longer and more tiring switch.

The commute was the #1, #2, and #3 reasons for my ERing in 2008. And I reduced my commute to only 2 days a week and it was still terrible. Back in the 1990s and late 1980s, the commute was usually peaceful. But once those annoying cell phones became more commonplace after 2000, trying to grab a snooze (or even not) became less and less possible because a few rude, loud cell phone yakkers could spoil the trip for everyone in the train car.
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