Commuting essentials

Since September, I’ve commuted from Sussex to London twice a week for classes, library sessions and meetings. I’m still not sure how anyone manages long journeys on a daily basis, but here’s a brief list of things that I find helpful.

1. A sturdy bag

I have a black Eastpak backpack. At 5’3″, I risk resembling a year 7 heading to double maths, but practicality is important when carrying around a laptop, books, water, food, an umbrella and more. If I’m staying with friends during the week, I also carry a tote bag with overnight essentials.

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2. Headphones, podcasts and music

I avoid working on train journeys. I don’t think it’s healthy to tackle my inbox at 6:30am, so I use the time to listen to new podcasts and favourite songs instead.

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3. A book

I’m currently enjoying The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.

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4. Make-up, deodorant, hand sanitiser, toothbrush, toothpaste…

Anything to counteract the grimy post-rush hour tube feeling.

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5. Snacks

Don’t underestimate how much energy travelling requires. My second breakfast is usually a Nakd bar and some fruit before I reach London.

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6. Naps

Try the train, a desk or the shoulder of the person next to you in the queue at Pret.

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7. Patience

This comes in handy when all the trains are cancelled at short notice.

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8. Optimism

You didn’t miss your train! You didn’t get inappropriately touched by a stranger! You won’t have to do this forever!

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Serious end notes:

  • If you are sexually harassed on public transport, you can report it.
  • I’m grateful for a flexible working policy that allows me to do most of my work from home. Take a look at Mother Pukka’s #FlexAppeal campaign to learn more about the benefits of flexible working for individuals, families and organisations.