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4/7/04 Noontime question from Michaelskis

michaelskis

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Today’s question is kind of question that relates to how we think about our surroundings. We hear that is it is a small world these days with technology around us, and people who “know” people that we have never met. It is not uncommon to drive an hour or even 3 hours to go hang out with friends, go skiing, or even go out for a drink or two… but 20 to 30 years ago, that would have been crazy, and in some places, that is still too far.

How far is far to you?
 

tsc

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I find 4 hours the limit for a weekend trip and about 1-1.5 hours for just a dinner. Of course I have been accustomed to driving....living in a metro area.
 

giff57

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I drove 20 hrs to a weekend party once. Now unless it was a very special event 1-2 hrs would be max
 

boiker

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Too far is over 4 hours. 4 hours will get me to Chicago or St. Louis without much lethargy. However, I don't pick up and leave on a moments notice to travel for 4 hours anymore.

I have drove for much longer than 4 hours during storm chases. But that's a different story.
 

tsc

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boiker said:
Too far is over 4 hours. 4 hours will get me to Chicago or St. Louis without much lethargy. However, I don't pick up and leave on a moments notice to travel for 4 hours anymore.

I have drove for much longer than 4 hours during storm chases. But that's a different story.

I think it all depends on how far it is to "get somewhere" and where you are once you get there. 1 hour and I am in Manhattan, 1.5 I can get to the ocean (if traffic isnt heavy) or the Catskills and 3-4 hours gets me home to upstate, the Adirondacks or Vermont.
 

H

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My wife and I have really good 'couple' friends that live up state about 6 hours from where we are. We see them about one weekend a month on average. Sometimes they come to us, sometimes we go to them and sometimes we meet somewhere we have never been before and have a mini-vacation.

We also have friends that live 'across' town who we dont hang out with as much because they are "too far". :-S

So I gues the trip is realtive to the destination :)
 

PlannerByDay

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I frequently travel 1.5 to 2.5 hours to meet with friends or family or to have fun doing something out-of-doors. I think 3.5+ hours travel time is a lot to travel unless of course you are going to be at your destination for an extended (2+ days) length of time.

Until I started traveling for work, which frequently takes me to clients 1-2.5 hours away, sometimes more, I would have dreaded traveling more than 2 hours at a time.
 

ludes98

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Good question. It is about 6 hours to Las Vegas, LA , San Diego, and Albuquerque. That is the extent of weekend driving trips. For dinner, or some other local get together, I don't like driving more than a half hour, but I have to make an exception for my parents because they moved into a leapfrog development 45 miles from my house!
 

Repo Man

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I have on many occasions driven 4-6 hours for a party with friends. Sometimes you just gotta do things like that. I would much rather drive 5 hours and have a blast than sit at home and have everyone tell me how much fun they had at a party that I missed. I have driven up to 4 hours for a concert or 2.5 to go skiing/snowboarding with friends on a weeknight too. I guess in my mind being tired for a day at work or stuck in a car for 10 hours is a small price to pay for meeting up with good friends.
 

Seabishop

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RI is very small-scale so my half hour commute is looked at by some people as a real journey. Most people have never even heard of the CT towns 40 minutes away. I love the day-trips but my 19 month old doesn't like being strapped in the carseat too long.
 

biscuit

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Growing up in a rural area I didn't think twice about driving an hour to go out to a nice restaurant, a decent coffee shop, or the mall. It was a lot of driving, but I didn't mind because that's just what you had to do. Plus I was a teenager and looked for any excuse to pick up my friends and go out driving. Living in the city has gotten me spoiled these days because I really don't need my car on a reguualr basis anymore. Driving more than 30 minutes to anything around town seems too far of a drive. Heck, I get the impression that most people in this city think that if they have to cross one of the rivers then it's just too much of a drive.

As for long distance...any roadtrip more than a four hours long usually has to be an overnighter. Although I have been known in the past to take off in the car on a weekend morning and not return until a good eight or nine hours later.
 
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biscuit said:
Growing up in a rural area I didn't think twice about driving an hour to go out to a nice restaurant, a decent coffee shop, or the mall. It was a lot of driving, but I didn't mind because that's just what you had to do. Plus I was a teenager and looked for any excuse to pick up my friends and go out driving. Living in the city has gotten me spoiled these days because I really don't need my car on a reguualr basis anymore. Driving more than 30 minutes to anything around town seems too far of a drive.
Ditto - the nearest mall/movie theater was about 40 minutes away growing up, driving was a way of life.

Now, anything more than an hour is pretty much an overnight trip. But I think that is also the geography of Albany - Within an hour you can get to Lake George (a popular summer spot for boating) and 6 Flags NE, but NYC, Syracuse and Boston are all at least 2 hours away.
 

nerudite

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7 or 8 hour drives (each way) are not uncommon around here for a weekend or long weekend getaway. With large cities few and far between on the Prairies, it's just a fact of life. I'm good with doing up to 4.5 hours for a weekend trip, 3 hours each way for a long day trip.
 

Gedunker

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Well. Wellington, NZ to Wellington, NZ, via Chicago sounds pretty far to me. ;-)
 

JNA

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From my fair city it's (clockwise) it is 2 - 3 hrs to
Indianapolis, Louisville, Mammoth Cave NP, Nashville, Land Between the Lakes, Shawnee NF, and St. Louis.

To many choices. :)
 

Plannerbabs

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I have no patience. 30 minutes tops, and it better be worth it. Going any further necessitates days of planning and anxiety.
 

Dragon

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Where I grew up, you did a good 30-45 minutes easy to get to places. We even had to drive almost 10 minutes to a dump grocery store for milk and bread. 30 minutes to a real grocery store.

Now, after living in the city for a while, 15 minutes or more driving somewhere in town aggravates me. Though, I do take some weekend excursions to my family’s home (1.5 hrs), or to see a friend in Florida (3 hrs). My Florida friend I don’t see but once a month though.
 

Lee Nellis

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I grew up thinking that long drives to do things were just routine. When I was studying/living in Wyoming, I would drive 8 hours each way for a date. But my last stint of living in a fairly remote place - 50 minutes to a grocery store - left me looking for proximity. I am now thinking about turning down a job because - among other reasons - there is no affordable place to live within walking distance of the office! The pendulum may swing back a ways, but walking is so pleasant.
 

GeogPlanner

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4 hours is my upper limit...mostly b/c if i go south, i am in jersey and i try to keep away. otherwise 4 hours gets me montreal, boston, into maine, burlington vermont, new hampshire, all of CT and RI, rochester, and somewhere in PA.

i think nothing about a 1 hour trek north to lake george for my favorite chinese restuarant!
 

Maister

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I notice that as I've aged my willingness to drive long distances for 'fun' has gradually diminished. At 20 I routinely made made 12 hour treks to and from entertainment destinations (girls, concerts, just for the heck of it) every weekend. Nowadays I undergo terrible internal debates whether its worth my time and energy to go all the way to the refrigerator in the garage to get myself another Strohs while wasting another evening with the old lady and watching reruns on tv ;-)

I would say that an hour's drive is the farthest I'd do at the drop of a hat and maybe 3 hours drive for any given Saturday to visit, say Chicago or Detroit
 

JNL

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michaelskis said:
How far is far to you?

Baby, I will fly halfway round the world for you! ;) :-D

...oh and I will also be visiting my other friends in Toronto :), London, Stockholm, Hamburg, and Brugge.

I dated a guy for a couple of months who lived an 8+ hour drive away - so I would fly there for the weekend. When we called it quits after 2-3 months I counted up and we had spent a total of only 12 days together! And lots of phone calls and emails. It makes it easier if you know it's a temporary arrangement, or there will be opportunities to meet up.

I think it is really cool how we can get to know people from other countries and cultures so easily now! My ex (who is now a friend) is in a long-term relationship with a French girl he met over the internet. They chatted every day for a few months then she moved over to NZ and I wouldn't be surprised if they get married.
 

Wulf9

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Family members are 90 minutes to the south and 4 hours to the north. We make those trips regularly.

Good friends live in Seattle (15 hours). We take that trip for special occasions (on the average of once a year).
 

mendelman

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3 hours max for day trips

10 hours max for weekend trips

20 hours max for a week trip

1300 hours max for a gallon of milk :p
 
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For me it is very much a relative thing, er, which takes on a double meaning with next comment:

I used to go home to Georgia to visit relatives on a regular basis: every year if it was only a thousand miles or so, every other year from the West Coast (which is more than 2000 miles). But my sister would come out to see me on the West Coast for the years in between. Then I went and took care of her after her mastectomy, sixth months later I was bedridden, and, gee, neither of us has managed to travel cross country in the last (almost) 4 years.

Generally speaking, how long I am going to stay when I get there and how much benefit I expect to get out of it determines how far I am willing to go. Since my commute is from the bedroom to the dining room and I consider leaving the house to get groceries to be a Hassle, it better be Really Worth It to go anywhere that takes a long drive.

So:
Several times a year, I drive 45+ minutes to Sacramento for me and/or my son for special medical services.

I took an 11 or 13 hour bus trip to Southern Cal. (where I got to breathe the smog) for 8 weeks of GIS school (well, technically, for 4 weeks: I came back and picked up my kids and the car at the midpoint break).

We once travelled 5500 miles to move a total of about 1200: when we transferred from Washington State to Southern California via Georgia (where my husband did ANCOC for 3 months and I had the privilege of sleeping on the floor at my mom's house, between 2 kids kicking me all night, and ... anyway, it ended being Worth It, so I won't go into the gruesome details).

And I in May of 2000, did a month-long trip where I flew from Southern Cal. to Atlanta, then borrowed my sister's car and drove to Boston for the Hollingworth Gifted Child Conference, stopped in the D.C. area for a tour of downtown D.C. by my then "boss" when I had a pro bono directorship, back to Atlanta, the next weekend I drove to Columbus, GA, to see my folks and then back to Atlanta where I took care of my sister's daughter while she was in the hospital, then took care of my sister when she came home from the hospital, then flew back to Cali -- all with my 2 sons in tow. That was quite exhausting but also Worth It.

We have also lived in the following places in the following order: met and married in Georgia, went to Texas (about 1000 miles or so), Germany, Kansas, Washington state, then to Southern Cali (via Georgia) then to the San Francisco Bay Area. This last move was a mere 450 miles (approx.) and within the same state. Perhaps God knew I was at Death's Door and was cutting me some slack. :-D

If you slather on layers and layers of benefit so that the cost-benefit ratio makes sense, I am There, wherever it is. :-D
 

michaelskis

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JNL said:
Baby, I will fly halfway round the world for you! ;) :-D


WWWHHHHOOO HOOOO!

For me, If it takes more than a day to drive there… that is a bit far. But then again, when I was living in Reading PA, it would take 14 hours (drive time) to get to Marquette Michigan to Visit friends. Now it only takes 8 or 9 hours! Not bad for a weekend trip. Also, when I was living in Reading, it was nothing to hop in the car, drive 45 min to 1 ½ hours to go out in downtown Philly. Now I like where I am. 45 miles from Grand Rapids, 2 – 2 ½ hours from downtown Chicago, and downtown Detroit!
 

annie

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I grew up in CT, and 2 hours was too far. We lived 1.5 hours from NYC, and rarely went there. boston was a BIG trip (2.5 hours).

Now that I live in MN, I don't think twice about 5 hours drives. Chicago? no problem.

Everything is going to seem REALLY close together when I move back east.

But then, when you live in the midwest...there's no sitting in traffic on the GW bridge for 3 hours on a sunday evening
 

SkeLeton

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Well I find everything quite far here... to get anywhere I have to spend like half an hour on the subway or on a cab...
 
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