I recently traded in my car. Now, I am not usually sentimental about material things in general, which is weird because being a guitar player is second only to car enthusiasts when it comes to the overwhelming love of the inanimate. But something about this car made me a little emotional when we parted company. It was mainly due, I think, to the amount of time I spent driving around the dual carriageways, backroads and mud tracks of this little island.
I sound nostalgic about it now but for I long time I wasn’t. I really wasn’t. In fact I used to dread the thought of epic commutes in the dark. When the car finally left my tenure I had managed to rack up 345,000 kms thats 217,479 miles (although this is less impressive looking)
So if I averaged around 100km per hour I spent, give or take, almost 145 whole days in that car. No wonder I was getting feels.
For a long time, I thought of travel as a burden. Dead hours wasted, wishing I was somewhere else. You know it’s bad when you can recommend a really good service station for other people’s trips. I passed through places but never really saw them. Music was always good but I found that, particularly on the return journey, I didn’t have much bandwidth for it after playing for a couple of hours. There is always the radio of course but when travelling late a night the choices here start to narrow. (Thats me being generous to Irish radio by the way)
After a year or two I started to discover audiobooks and podcasts. A bit late to the party on this one I know. But Podcasts, who could have thought or predicted that something so simple like that could take off and grow so exponentially? It might sound a bit naive but just knowing that there are millions of people out there consuming two or three hour conversations every week is a positive thing. It means people are still hungry for getting in deep instead of just skimming along the surface. Not only that but that there were long form conversations about whatever off the wall, crazy niche Interest you could think of. Producing techniques, movie reviews, art, politics, religion, sport, current affairs, history, opinions, theoretical physics, singing lessons, comedians talking with fear factor hosts about conspiracies. It was like the world just opened up.
It is not an exaggeration to say that it literally changed my life, It was like my own private cultural and spiritual awakening that no one else knew about except for me and that car. What I was looking at all that time as a burden was actually what I luckily now call a gift. A chance to explore, to learn to expand and to grow. I look forward to many miles in my new car, but more so to the new doors it will open. No pun intended.
Last week I asked for your recommends for the things that keep you grounded when working. Well here are a few of mine. Top ten podcasts, audiobooks and randoms. Everyone loves a good list too, right?
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