Thursday, June 2, 2016

Less Than Some, More Than Others


Having paid closer attention to the number of miles that I accumulate over the year, it is a bit staggering to think about all of the driving that I have done over the past year. Given recent circumstances, it is difficult to determine a truly accurate number but I still have a good sense about how many miles I can expect to put on the new car. This is especially true given the fact that I have already tallied about 2,500 miles over the first nearly three weeks since I picked it up. Of course, that includes some of the usual trips just to get acquainted with the car during the first week.

For someone who used to put 10,000 miles or less on a car annually, the numbers are pretty surprising when I sit down and calculate my travel from the past year. Just between the miles that I put on the Jeep (22,500/ 9 months) and those that I have put on the Mercedes to this point (2,500 / 3 weeks), I can already expect to see approximately 25,000 miles annually. Add in the miles that I put on the rental cars over the month and a half of use (3,000) and the additional miles that we put on my wife’s car over the past year during family trips and while driving the rentals (4,000) and the total miles over this past year jumps up to 32,000. Yes, this pretty much ensures that I will be replacing my car every three years to keep from driving beyond the warranty.

To put that total in perspective, I drive enough miles annually to travel around the Earth along the equator (24,900 miles), complete a cross country trip across the United States and back (2,800 miles each way), and I would still have 1,500 miles remaining in case I wanted to take a detour to two. Of course, that adventure would be much more interesting than the vast majority of the miles that I have driven this past year as the bulk of my total (over 25,000 miles) consists of my daily commute to and from the office during the week. Especially given recent events, this is not a fun nor interesting part of my year behind the wheel.

In fact, I remember more about those other 7,000 miles than I do about my time commuting. In addition to the 2,500 miles that we put on my wife’s car exploring Virginia last summer, we also put some miles behind us driving over the Pittsburgh, Hershey, and a few day trips here and there. It was also enjoyable (and highly annoying) driving up, down, and across different streets during our prolonged home search. I would like to experience more miles exploring this year. Not as many as a couple of years ago when we traveled all over the Commonwealth (and then some) but somewhere in the middle. Of course, it helps that our son enjoys exploring new places and doesn’t mind (too much) being on the road.