Nobody Takes the Bus in California. I Did. Here’s Why.
Nobody in California takes public transportation.
That’s what I’ve heard.
I’ve learned that’s not entirely true, but it’s definitely not the norm.
Maybe one reason more people here don’t take public transportation is because, in most cases, it takes longer than driving.
It takes about 35 minutes to drive from downtown La Jolla to Encinitas.
It’s takes about 90 minutes to take the bus.
Almost 3 times as long.
Who in their right mind would take the bus?
Today, I took the bus. Actually, I took 2 buses. I took the 30 and then transferred to the 101.
It may be the most New York thing I’ve done in the 2 months I’ve been in Southern California.
Although, to be honest, I rarely take the bus in New York. I prefer the subway. The bus is too slow.
Who has time for the bus?
Why would I take the bus when I could have gotten to my destination faster by taking a car?
Reconditioning Beliefs About Time
Who has time to take the bus?
That mindset is part of the reason why I took the bus.
Our culture promotes a belief that time is a limited resource. We live in a perpetual time famine.
“I don’t have time” is the mantra of our times.
We’ve barely arrived in a place before we announce that we can’t stay long because we have to get to our next place.
I often feel like I’m running behind schedule. In fact, I felt that way today. That’s why I took the bus: to change my beliefs and mindset around time.
I can replace “I don’t have time” with a new belief like “Time is abundant,” or “I have all the time I need.” But without action and ritual to reinforce the mindset, it won’t stick.
Beliefs are reinforced through action.
To reinforce a new belief that I have all the time I need, I took the bus.
Stretch My Comfort Zone
Still, traveling by bus for 90 minutes when I could have reached my destination by car in 30 minutes seems completely inefficient.
I like to get to my destination as fast as possible. And I like to be in control of the journey. I have little tolerance for traffic or layovers.
In New York, I’ll walk 20 blocks to avoid transferring subways. I book non-stop flights to avoid layovers.
Travel days always feel like wasted days: so much time to get to where you’re going. Packing. Unpacking.
Today was my 26th move this year. And whether I’ve moved rooms within the same hotel or flown across the country, every travel day has felt like a completely unproductive day.
I realized that’s because I was so focused on getting to where I was going that I forgot to be where I was. It became all about the logistics and timing and less about being in the moment.
And the point of being home free and exploring new places is to appreciate where I am.
So I took the bus. Two busses. Because I can’t control the bus. Because it takes more time. Because it requires me to stretch my comfort zone.
And because it required me to be present. On the bus, you have to pay attention, otherwise you’ll miss your stop.
I didn’t use the bus ride to check email or write or even listen to a podcast.
I didn’t do anything. I was a human being. I sat back, appreciated the ocean views from the window and stayed focused on the journey.
Savoring the Journey
Taking the bus is about appreciating the journey as much as the destination. It’s about savoring the process. Opening a wider lens to what exists around you.
Ultimately, that’s what this adventure is all about. And by “this adventure” I don’t just mean my time on the West coast; I’m talking about life.
We all end up in the same ultimate destination. Why are we rushing there? Why not enjoy the ride and the view?
The juice is in the journey.
It’s not just a tag line. It’s something I believe.
Arriving on Schedule
It turned out that I did have plenty of time and I wasn’t behind schedule at all. I arrived in Encinitas with enough time to check in at my AirBnB and still make it to The Soul of Yoga for an evening yin yoga class.
As the teacher led us through a grounding meditation, I noticed that I was already grounded. I didn’t have to catch up my mind with my body, the way I often do when I rush into a place. They had arrived together. And what a joy that was, to show up in a place already having arrived within myself.