|There's a direct route from my house to my job, on a four-lane highway with a fairly fast speed limit and a dependable yet not ridiculous amount of traffic. There's also an indirect route on slower roads and back roads through woods and neighborhoods, which takes about 50% more time to travel.
I've been taking the indirect route a lot lately, and I couldn't figure out what was drawing me to it until recently. I really enjoy saving time, especially while driving, so it would make more sense for me to take the faster route. But I kept noticing that I'd arrive at work or at home after the commute and just be stressed and angry. Nothing particularly negative was happening on my commute, but it seemed to just be the commute itself.
I finally came to the conclusion that I get stressed out by driving on highways, and it's largely my own fault. I predetermine the speed I intend to drive based on the speed limit and the probability of police encounter. So I usually drive in the left lane as I'm passing people. But I'm not an asshole, so I move over to the right lane if someone is behind me. But I really dislike getting stuck behind someone in the right lane whose preferred speed limit is lower than mine, so I'll often speed up or slow down and look for opportunities to pass any way I can. And in the meantime, I'll get angry at people for being in my way or for riding my ass.
In essence, driving is a video game to me. I'm hyper-alert and I get angry when I don't win. It's not fun or enjoyable, but I haven't yet found a way to not think of it that way. Hence, I take the slow road. #travel