The #1 thing I don't miss!
TRAFFIC! This was the view from my car most days of the week, as I fought my way to work on some of the busiest stretches of road in Europe! For 8 years I used to circumnavigate the 'official' busiest 20 miles of motorway in Europe, the M25 between the M4 and M1. I was reminded of this yesterday during a chat with one of my bestfriends back home. She informed me that she was stuck stationary on this very stretch at 5am in the morning for over 2 hours. It took me back and made me thankful for the empty roads where I am now! The 6 years before I moved here, I made the trek up the M1 (Britains oldest motorway, hence M1) daily from Watford to Bedford. It was a 55 mile journey door to door and if I left home no later than 6:05am I could make it in about an hour. But if I left after 6:30am it could take me anything from 90 minutes to nearly 2 hours.My journey home was similar and some nights I would just have to leave the motorway and take back roads it was so bad. I remember that whenever it rained (which is often), it was a nightmare with all the spray and there were often accidents. Friday nights were my worst journey of the week and it was quite common for it to take me 3 hours to do those 55 miles. I would often work late (7pm or later) or stop to shop somewhere, just to avoid sitting in traffic pointlessly.I don't think the Hubster really appreciated just how bad the traffic is back home, until he was there and we traveled around the country. As well as the sheer volume, he found it nervewracking that we drive at times up to 85mph (yep I'm a speedy bird!) in traffic, with just a few feet between the vehicles all around you. Driving in England you automatically drive on motorways watching the car 6 or so vehicles in front of you, so you have time to react. He is a good, confident driver who likes to drive, but he wasn't the least bit interested in driving over there! Because most journeys you make involve traffic, British drivers have a tendency to be more aggressive and get wound up easily, road rage is common. This is a habit I am very slowly losing, but I will often nag the Hubster when he gives way to someone or I think he's dawdling! Here it's a whole different world out in the country. Empty roads for miles, you can believe your GPS when it tells you your arrival time, and using traffic as an excuse for being late (a fave of mine) is not an option! I used to make my trek to work listening to Sarah Kennedy on Radio 2 in the mornings. Now I occasionally email her and I have had 3 mentions from her since I left, sending my best to friends, family and my former fellow traffic sitters on the M1! If I need cheering up, I will just listen to her show online and smirk when the traffic reports come on.I have yet to see traffic on the same scale in Okieland, even in T-Town and OKC in the rush hour, it just does not compare! They may have daily rush hour heavy traffic, but they don't have it for 20+ miles bumper to bumper daily, crawling at 10-30mph!Now I have a blissful 6.7 mile journey to work and I make it in about 7 minutes, you just can't beat it.