In the US, commuting to work generally consists of sitting in your car in traffic. There are a handful of cities where you might take the subway or a bus. But you’re still looking at 30 minutes or more of unpleasantness. At my last two jobs, I managed to live within walking distance. I did this partly because I do a lot of research into the psychology of happiness, and two of the things that we can never get used to, unlike a nice new car that loses it’s happiness boost pretty fast, are noise and commuting.

So Amsterdam suites me well because my commute is quiet and low stress. I do a “reverse commute” of sorts, living in town and heading south to the sleepy town of Amstelveen each morning. There’s no bike rage from fellow commuters because there’s nothing to get mad about. And though Amstelveen is kind of a drag because there aren’t many choices for lunch and it’s hard to meet up with friends, you just can’t beat the 25 minutes riding along the Amstel in the spring – the winter is a traumatically different story that we’ll save for another time. Click on picture to enlarge.