As a recent college graduate, I have been on the long quest in which many have shared in today's economy called "finding your first bit of gainful employment". I live on Long Island, NY so the obvious port of call has been New York City. There is one glaring problem, though, and that is the daily commute. It can take, on a good day, 4.5 hours round trip: 30 minutes each way to drive to the nearest train station, 90 minutes each way on the train, 15 minutes each way on a Subway (this was timed today -- I had an interview in SoHo).
To make matters worse, the Long Island Rail Road is notoriously unreliable: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/01/nyregion/lirrs-new-signal-system-... with delays of 15+ minutes occurring at least once a week
and Long Island roads are consistently rated as most dangerous and road-rage inducing: http://www.cnbc.com/id/31408478/US_Cities_With_The_Worst_Road_Rage?... (Yes this lists it as the city proper, but it's just as bad out on Long Island)
Even if the commute goes well every day, I'd still be losing almost 1 full 24-hour day a week to commuting. Time that could be spent going on dates, doing handy work around the house, exercising, learning new skills, hell even holding a part time job for supplemental income. Yet still there are literally tens of thousands of brave men (and women) who make this arduous journey every day.
Am I being unreasonable in thinking this insane? What are daily commutes like in your locations?
Addendum: Would anyone care to offer recommendations for good cities (in the US or otherwise, I'm completely open) for young men to establish a life for themselves? My earning potential by NY standards is an optimistic $40k with my current level of education and experience. Figure that's anywhere from $25k-$35k outside of the NY area.
Addendum 2: As for relocating closer to the city, it's possible, certainly, but if I'm going to hitch up and move I might as well go someplace where I can get a place bigger than a broom closet, no?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has pretty precise numbers online about regional salaries and growing industries. So if you're thinking of leaving New York, play around with the information there.
How long is too long of a commute will vary from person to person. Yours is VERY long. Mine was an hour each direction until yesterday. 15 min. driving to the subway station. 45 min. on the subway. I can read on the subway. Since as a young attorney, basically all I do for work is read and write, I can work for most of my commute. It's not lost time at all.
Yesterday was my first day commuting without the car. The bus doesn't appear to add time coming home in the evening, when the buses run on time, and I can still read on the bus, so that's almost a gain. But the buses don't run on time in the morning. Today the bus was maybe 20 min. late, which added 15 min. to my commute. Buses run every half hour or every hour, so if I miss the bus, that's a MUCH longer commute.
Bus fare is also more expensive than gas+parking.
More about the subway: It's slightly faster, but more expensive, more stressful, and less productive to drive all the way to my office. Of course, I can't read while driving.
I met my fiance on the subway, so it's not lost time in the dating world, either.
Those putting up with that commute are not brave, intrepid adventurers but tortured souls having the life sucked out of them.
Do yourself a favor and move the hell out of the metro area. Go as far as you can as fast as you can. Do not look back. Just stay away from Commiefornia or it will be out of the frying pan into the fire.
That's a hell of a long commute. I try to keep it under an hour to an hour-and-a-quarter each way. My last job was 25-minutes ... shortest commute I've ever had.
Still -- a nasty commute is better than unemployed. If I were you, I'd move toward work, look for another job closer to home, or uproot completely. I wouldn't spend that much time commuting any longer than I had to.
My shortest commute, not including ship-board or barracks time, was a 5 minute walk through Coconut Grove in Miami. LOVED it. Longest commute was also in Miami, a two hour 24 mile commute from Hollywood, FL to the Reserve Center in Coconut Grove. HATED IT!
I am, currently, 35 miles from my work in New Orleans and it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour traffic issue depending. One thing I don't understand is why people down here don't accellerate to go uphill on the two bridges on the I10 and then, when they're doing 35 to 40 in a 60MPH zone they break at the top of the hill. I'm guessing that they're either afraid the other side of the bridge fell down, or they're trying to see if they can see their house from such a 'high' spot.
Actually, I worked from home for about two months earlier this year ... so my shortest commute was technically 10-seconds. Heh.
Longest commute was from Houston to Austin for a six month contract job -- commuted 3-hours Monday morning, worked four 11-hour days (slept at a motel), and commuted another 3-hours back on Thursday night. That was a long six-months. Never been happier for a contract to end.
Know what you mean, I did a 3 month job in Houston from New Orleans, 5 to 6 hour trip. On drill weekends (I drilled at Keesler in Mississippi, about 1 1/2 hours from New Orleans). I traveled from Houston to Keesler on Friday and Sunday went back. Tough, tough commute.
What is the degree in?
Do you have family in any other major areas? Most the major Texas cities are affordable, and range from barely hit by the downturn to doing pretty good when comapred to other cities.
Life is too short for such a commute
Dual degree in Political Science and History. I know, I know. It is very likely that I'll be going back to school within a few years for either the Master's Degree or another Bachelors in something a bit more marketable.
Most (just about all, actually) of my family is in the NY metro area with a couple in eastern PA (nearby Scranton) and one or two up near Syracuse.
Friends are a bit more spaced out: Washington, Boston, Ann Arbor, Baltimore. I have no problem being far from anyone I know. Technology is such that I've managed to keep in reasonably close contact with them all and we take turns making trips to visit one another every few months anyway.
Austin is on my long list of places I've been seeking jobs in. Are you a Texan? Are the summers as terrible as people keep telling me?
My daily commute went from just under 30 minutes to 2 hours for the same distance, and from the same locations. Of course I went from riding the train to running, but the time difference is still noticable.
Now that's a marathon commute!
One hour one way, about 6.5 miles one way. It feels bad when little bitty girls just blow right past me.
Don't worry, you'll improve.