Holy cow, I wrote a book!
A friend of mine had a business meeting near London,
and he decided to extend it to a tour of Scotland and England
once the meetings were over.
(This is the same friend who took me
on the emergency vacation many years ago.)
His plan was to rent a car early one morning
and drive from the meeting location all the way
up to Aberdeen at one go, then slowly work his way back south,
enjoying the sights along the way.
He sanity-checked his plan against his colleagues from
"I looked it up on multiple online mapping sites,
and they all say that the trip from London to Aberdeen is
doable in a day.
I take motorway X, then Y, then Z.
Does this make sense to you?"
Every single one of his colleagues said,
You can't do it in a day.
You should budget two days travel time."
My colleague was curious.
Is the motorway really congested?
Is the road unusually difficult to navigate,
or is the road in poor condition?
Something that would prevent me from traveling at the posted
"No, the roads are just fine, and driving is straightforward."
He asked several other questions trying to find out
what it was about the trip that required it to take two days.
Is there something funny at the England/Scotland border that takes a
Do I have to cross a mountain or something?
"It just can't be done in one day."
My colleague concluded that it was simply in the mindset
of the locals that driving that far
in one day is Just Not Done.
There is nothing physically preventing it,
but it is considered to be highly unusual.
As I recall, he ultimately executed his plan without incident.
I wonder if the other drivers on the road looked at him funny.
Another friend of mine was staying in Reading,
and he decided to take a weekend excursion to Wales.
He pulled out the map, calculated how long it would take him,
and noted that the map indicated that there were mountains that
he needed to cross to reach his destination.
He set out with what he thought was plenty of time to spare,
but it started getting late, and he still needed to cross
and he was concerned that
the people in Wales would start worrying when
he didn't show up.
And then he reached his destination.
He drove over the mountains without even realizing it.