How to Commute Like a Pro (and Cons)

How to Commute Like a Pro (and Cons)

I’ve been dreaming about living and working in Washington D.C. for nearly 21 years. When I first confirmed my plans to intern in D.C. I was ecstatic. I imagined walking down K Street to my internship everyday, but little did I know that I wouldn’t be working in our nation’s capital; I’d actually be working just south of the District in Alexandria, Virginia.

As far as the commute, there are a significant amount of pros and cons to commuting to another city. Here’s some of what I’ve found:

Pro – Time to decompress and read the news
For those who don’t know, the Express newspaper is incredible! It’s a free daily publication by The Washington Post with top headlines, community events, sports, upcoming events around D.C., and more.


Express boxes are located outside of every metro station and they’re a quick and convenient way to keep up with the news. My 50-minute metro ride every day gives me the time to sit down, read the news, and practice my Sudoku skills. This time frame is not only good for my upkeep of news, but also for personal reflection before and after a long day of work.


The Express Newspaper


Con – The Yellow Line
I’m sure many have heard the horror stories of the D.C. metro – one of the worst metro systems in the United States. I can’t confirm or deny that statement is true, but I can confirm that the Yellow Line is always an… adventure.


Every morning I board the Red Line Metro at NoMa heading towards Shady Grove, and then transfer to the Yellow Line at Gallery Place. Despite the consistently broken-down trains, lack of air conditioning, and 15 to 20 minute delays, the views over the river toward King St/Old Town station are breath taking.   

Pro – Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria is a beautiful, historic, and vibrant part of town filled with restaurants, bars, and nightlife. It’s the perfect place to sightsee at the National Harbor, walk along the riverbank, or go to happy hour after work with co-workers. The unique culture and cuisine of the city make Alexandria a top nearby destination, and I have the privilege to explore it every day.


King St/Old Town Station


Con – Fashion Fail
I love wearing heels! I think they’re an essential part of my outfit, but it’s uncomfortable with such a long commute. Rather than get blisters on my feet everyday, I sacrifice my outfit with bulky tennis shoes until I get to the office.  Make sure to pack your heels to change into when you get to work!  Imagine the statement you’d make wearing your colorful running shoes and a nice blazer…


Wearing tennis shoes on with my professional dress


There are many pros and cons with commuting every day to Alexandria, but surprisingly, I absolutely love working there. When I first discovered the location of my internship, I was initially disappointed. I’d come all this way to Washington D.C. to experience our nation’s capital, not some small town in Virginia. Nonetheless, Alexandria has now become one of my favorite cities, and I never would have ventured across the river without my internship experience.

Ciao for now,
Emily Pingleton

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