A Silent Joy of Off Peak Travel

Cafe on Wolburn Walk, LondonAs a consultant, I regularly travel to the offices of my clients for meetings. With most of my meetings scheduled at the ‘standard’ meeting times (10.30 am and 2.00 pm), I find myself commuting at off-peak times. I rather enjoy this. More than just avoiding the crush and tumble of rush hour, this presents the opportunity to take in the areas through which I travel. As the train or bus rumbles along its route, I am inclined to wonder about the lives of the people whose door fronts, back gardens and neighbourhoods I see. In a way, I find it very relaxing – yet absorbing. I get carried away by my day dreams.

Russell Square Tube station

Another ‘joy’ of travelling to different locales for meetings is trying to get the timing right. I am not overly impressed by the reliability of the British transport system, so ensuring a timely arrival at a client meeting almost inevitably means arriving early and then searching for a café or coffee shop. I try to steer clear of the Starbucks and Costa Coffees of the world – I prefer to find something different. Something local. Sometimes I win and find a hidden gem in some corner of London, Swindon or elsewhere. Other times, I strike out and suffer through a mug of coffee that tastes like it was filtered through the sewer system. But that’s what I like … the little adventures and experiences that comes with travelling to new places. (No, I don’t like coffee that tastes like poop-water.)

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