One Man’s Ingenious Way to Beat the Traffic (And Enjoy Some ‘Me Time’)

While many of us cycle, walk or take the bus to avoid sitting in traffic, Munich-based Benjamin David has come up with a slightly more ingenious plan. He stows his laptop and work clothes in a waterproof sack and swims down the river Isar to his office.

Granted, his mode of transport is a little out there —which is probably what prompted the BBC to include it in their write up of seven of the world’s most bonkers commutes— but the benefits far outweigh the strange looks he receives.

At 1.2 mi (2 km) the swim is a fair distance, but Benjamin claims it’s still much faster than driving on the congested road that runs alongside the river. He also says it’s more relaxing, which is understandable given that he has no traffic to contend with.

The Isar was once used as a waterway that served as one of the most important transportation routes from Rome to Vienna, but for the last 100 years this has all disappeared. Nowadays nobody uses the river anymore, which means our intrepid swimmer has it all to himself.


However, given the number of vehicles on the road, Benjamin says he wouldn’t be surprised if more people opted to swim to work in the future. For the time being though, his morning commute is largely a solitary one and he’s clearly reaping the benefits.

The Benefits of ‘Me Time’

benefits of me time

Whether or not he’s considered it, Benjamin is enjoying something equally as important as a stress-free commute: a daily chunk of ‘me time.’

We all understand the importance of me time, but how many of us make it a regular part of our lives? Whether you’re a new parent, in a new relationship or simply busy with life, time alone is very necessary.

Our ‘always on’ world doesn’t help matters, because we’re often afraid of being bored when instead what we should be doing is relishing it. If we don’t, our creativity runs the risk of being quashed by our busyness.

Making Time for ‘Me Time’

But what do you do if you really don’t have the time to indulge in a little solitude on a daily basis? The thing is, you actually do. Now I get that I’m being a little presumptuous by saying that, but humor me for a second.

What about using your work commute as an opportunity for some ‘me time’? If you travel to work alone (whether by car or on public transport), you could listen to a podcast, audiobook or even your favorite music. Choose something that’s going to leave you feeling inspired, upbeat and ready to tackle the day ahead. So, basically anything but the news.

A daily walk can change your mind and body. Is it possible for you to walk to work, if not all the way then maybe a part of it? You could get off your bus a couple of stops earlier and just take the time to indulge in a walking meditation.

If you carpool, then finding solitude on your commute won’t work. For you the answer may be to get up 15 minutes earlier and indulge in a cup of tea or coffee by yourself before the rest of the house wakes up. Rising earlier can be challenge if you’re not a morning person, so another option is to stay awake a little longer than everyone else and get your quiet time that way.

If you look hard enough you’ll find an extra 15-30 minutes somewhere. Very often it’s less about not having having the time and more about being willing to do whatever it takes to eke it out for ourselves. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to making excuses about why I can’t do something. Perhaps now is the time to stop doing that. Will you join me?

Photo Credit: Daniel Loher

Copyright © 2015 Inc. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.