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I may be in the minority but I enjoy spending time driving to work. I enjoy my commute to work and even more my commute home. I usually refer to that time alone in the car as “pre-game” on the way into the office and “post-game” on the way home.

Some days (OK, most days) I listen to music, other days talk radio. I am more likely to listen to talk radio on the way into work, since the information shared sometimes gets me thinking about the people and places that make up our region. Regardless of what I am hearing or seeing, early in the day I sometimes find myself prepping for the day ahead and on the way home reflecting on what has transpired during the work day.

If you are like me, reflective time to think usually produces creative thoughts. Many of these thoughts are new ideas and concepts. But what is it about the time in the car and during my commute that fuels my engine of creativity?

Taking in the landscape and the diversity of our municipalities motivates me. And thanks to those who paved the roads long before I drove on them, I have multiple routes to choose during my commute and travels around from town to town. My drive and the path I choose to take can and usually does match my mood.

If I am feeling structured and organized, I will choose a direct route to work. Feeling a little more relaxed, I will opt for a longer winding road. Wanting, or better yet longing, for a day at the beach, I choose the coast line. When I feel I may be taking what I have for granted, I will take routes that most people choose to avoid. Some streets and roads reflect reality. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of the realities around us. While we all have challenges and struggles, some people have challenges and struggles much greater than our own.

At times for work I need to travel outside of our area to places where gridlock and congested traffic is a way of everyday life and considered a “normal” commute. Those days seem much less positive and I long for the easy riding drives that are common place closer to home. Even during the most difficult drives here, usually based on weather and seasonal or holiday traffic, there is still so much to enjoy during my commute.

Some of my best ideas are created in the car. It may sound strange but the sights and the sounds that surround me when I drive make me feel more creative in the way I think. It also helps me be more creative in developing new ideas.

Perhaps it goes back to the variety of the towns and the looks and the feel of those locations that I can travel through during my commute. Or it could be that the pockets of business districts and shops that seem to spring up between residential areas get me thinking. Maybe it is because there always seems to be a new business or store that catches my eye.

I check out the look of the new business, a new sign or logo. Sometimes I find myself asking questions like “How did they do that?” or “Why did they do that?” Whatever the reasons, they got creative and started a business. And for some reason seeing all the creativity makes me feel more creative too.

The creativity of the commute does not always center around coming up with new ideas. I sometimes tend to solve problems and work out difficult situations while driving. I find it interesting that the time in which I am most likely to literally run into roadblocks is where I am most likely to find solutions to roadblocks I may be facing outside of the car.

I hope you all have similar experiences when it comes to travel around our region and during your time in your car. We all need a vehicle to get us where we want to go. If you feel the need (at a reasonable speed), the time may be right for you to embrace a more creative commute.

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