Lately I have been feeling kind of ripped off that to go anywhere I need to go, to do things I need to do, to shop or go to an entertainment event, or go to the doctor, I am looking at a minimunm 4 hour round trip drive. For a 15 minute doctor appointment this seems to be an excessive amount of driving. I stand in awe of the local residents who have been doing this amount of driving now for many years, and are continuing to do so, often more than once a week, even though they are in their 70's, 80's and 90's.
This morning I received an email from a friend who lives in the northern part of the country. He lives close to Hudson Bay. Where he lives there are no roads at all for a lot of the year. There are mud slags in the fall and spring, ice patches in the winter and gravel and dirt in the summer. Sometimes in the winter, if it gets cold enough to freeze the river, there is an ice road across it to the next community. Getting to anywhere else requires boats and air travel, then long train rides once you are across the river with no vehicle of your own. For him, a 15 minute doctor appointment can take over a full week of travel and incorporate several modes of transportation. Right now there is some kind of political dispute in his community over putting in docks for the boats and fees to be charged, so the boat he normally takes across the river cannot dock on the other side until the dispute is settled. For him to get to the next community across the river he has to take the usual boat almost to shore, then he has to step out of the boat into a long canoe that is tied to the dock and skitter across the canoe to the shore. As he says, it is fine as long as you are not carrying more than one case of beer! haha He takes air taxis when the ice road isn't safe enough to drive on as it melts, and when the boats are dry docked for the winter.
So, perspective is important! Next time I am tempted to whinge about all the driving I have to do....in a car that works....on paved roads....to cities with all the amenities I require, I will try to stop and think of my friend's travel troubles and feel a whole lot more grateful for my own minor inconveniences.