Where people live directly affects how people live their lives. The most common way we can see how choosing to live somewhere affects how we live or lives is in the way that people get around. When we look at the different forms of transportation that people use in different places it allows us to see how they have to plan out their days and gives us a better clue for understanding how living in a certain place affects exactly how we live.
Let us say there is a family that lived on an island by themselves. In choosing to live on that island with only a boat for transportation they would have to plan out their transportation very carefully. Although I have not met anyone in Cork that lives on an island and has to travel by boat to the mainland, choosing to live in Cork still affects how people here live their lives. Cork City is known for being a very walkable city and many people here do not even own cars. So, just like the family on the island people in Cork have to plan out how they are going to get around either by using the public bus or by using the most common form of transportation in Cork which is walking.
The different modes of transportation in Cork, and Ireland, vary from walking, riding a bike, skateboarding, running, riding the public bus and driving in a vehicle all the way to motorcycling, taking the train or even taking a ferry which is a type of boat that transports people. Although the most common mode of transportation used throughout Cork City is walking.
I decided to use the most common form of transportation in Cork which is walking. It is also the most affordable form of transportation in Cork!
At first when I arrived in Cork I was not accustomed to, or familiar with, to having to walk everywhere so it was a little bit tricky to plan in extra time for walking. Also, I come from a very small town, less than 2,000 people, so I was not use to having to wait at crosswalks or walking next to so many people. Do you have to wait at crosswalks when you walk around the city too? Sometimes my friends and I play a game while we are waiting at crosswalks and listen to see if we can hear anyone speaking a different language. It is fun to keep track of how many different languages or accents you can pick up on, so try it next time you are waiting at the crosswalk!
After having been in Cork for three months I feel like I have become a pro at walking everywhere, not to mention that I feel healthier too! I am accustom to waiting and the crosswalks and walking, and passing, many people that are all traveling in the same direction. Also, I know exactly how long it takes me to walk to my different classes on UCC’s campus, the gym, the bus station and how long it takes me to get to the different grocery stores throughout the city. For classes I still try to plan in extra time to be early but knowing that it will only take me so long to get to the class I usually wait until the last minute and see if I can make it faster than I ever had before.
Walking, as a way of getting around, is directly connected to the environment. People in Ireland are very environmentally friendly and try their best to conserve energy. One of the ways people in Cork attempt to do this is by choosing to not own a car, or choose to only use it on special occasions and walk instead. Walking, as a way of getting around, is connected to Ireland’s culture through an example that can be seen daily throughout Corks City. Many stay at home moms will bundle up their babies in strollers and meet up with other stay at home moms to go for walks throughout the day. Because walking has been built into the majorities of people’s daily lives it has, in fact, become the cultural norm in Cork City.