When I lived out west, it was not unusual for me to drive over 11 hours to visit my girlfriend on a weekend. To have a chance to hang with a good friend, have some laughs, & enjoy each others company, it was worth the drive from Fort St John, BC to Lethbridge, AB. I was not alone! Many people out there drove often long ways to get to different places & they did it willingly. Heck, it was 77 km one way just to get from my home to work. But it was a small price to pay (the distance) to get to friends, family, work, or fun.
So why is it in Ontario we seem to be afraid to do the same? I can't believe the number of times I hear people say “I can't make it, it's too far away” just to go to the other side of town or the outskirts. I use to drive up to 2 hours (sometimes 3) one way when I traveled as a Fantastia consultant & I met some of the best clients you could ever meet & I was one of the busiest reps. Yet many people who run their own business can't even drive 20 mins to get to from Guelph to Fergus, Elora, Cambridge, Erin, etc to network in these less urban areas, meet people who are definitely potential clients, or even better, could lead to fantastic opportunities & collaborations. This totally baffles my mind! Especially when these same business owners are complaining that they can't find clients or referrals.
The same could be said about family & friends. People complain they are lonely, they want to get out more, they want to be more social – then get in the car, fill it up with gas, & go! I'm not going to recommend you go on the 401 (one thing that was different out west was their wasn't 16 lanes of hell) BUT I will say back roads not only give you fantastic driving scenery, they also give you great music time, quiet time, or “road trip” time with others in the car. It always leads to good stories. They said for years that it was "worth the drive" for the Olde Hide House in Acton & I still believe today that it truly is worth the drive to get out, network, & associate with people outside our usual region. A little bit of driving can lead to huge happiness & success!