Thinking time

I realised as I waited over-long for the bus yesterday that I like travelling alone. It isn’t something I’d put on my greatest pleasures list simply because it isn’t an obvious pleasure – I don’t travel if there is no need. I can well imagine that when I retire, I’ll make up excuses to get out of the house and go places.

When I started looking at universities the first time around, I remember a trip to Galashiels with my Dad. He drove me to the little town where I stayed overnight in preparation for an interview the following day. It must have been strange for him to leave me there, it being the first time he would have had to do it. The day after, I went to the interview, then got a bus into Edinburgh (a coach, really) and then caught the train back home. I really enjoyed the trip, and I assumed this was because I felt so grown up and independent, but it’s more than that. I chose Nottingham over Galashiels, and to this day I can’t remember why (perhaps because it was closer to home?) I often wonder what would have happened if I had chosen differently: perhaps I wouldn’t have been lost in a swollen sea of students; perhaps there would have been more reason to stay at university. But, I digress…

When I’m on a bus or a coach, I seem to fall into a kind of meditative state. I don’t speak, and I gaze out of the window. Sometimes I try to read (but not on a bus) and sometimes I’m successful, but I like to find myself in these situations where I don’t have to do anything (a rare treat!) and when I can let my mind wander over what is important. It’s a thinking time, of sorts; a time to let my brain do what it does without trying to apply it to something specific. Though I’m travelling at faster than walking pace (see ‘Beware the barrenness of a busy life’ post), my brain is still operating at walking pace, but with fewer interruptions.

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One thought on “Thinking time

  1. Me too!
    Ok, I’m going to go to bed in a minute! I always think of travel time (when you actually just get to sit for a while on a train or something as opposed to having to keep being alert and changing)as ‘free’ time, as although I often do nothing, there is always the potential that I could be doing something more useful, and often probably should be! I really feel like I am free to just think when I have a couple of hours of uninterrupted travel ahead of me, and I genuinely like the freedom. The only thing that compares to me is sitting in a little nook by cliffs all wrapped up warm away from sight but getting blasted by the sea breeze and staring at waves breaking. I could do that for hours and don’t feel like I should be doing anything else.

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