Do You Live Life In The Middle Lane? Stop. Be Conscious. Be Awesome.

A Long Drive From Plymouth To Lowestoft

Last week, I drove many hundreds of miles from the border of Devon/Cornwall to Lowestoft, in Suffolk, on the East Coast of England. 

It. Was. Long.

I was driving by myself, and it took about 7-8 hours on the way up and two 3.5 hour journeys, via an overnight stay to say hello to my dog Bosun, to get back again. Yeah, long. Exhausting.

But it’s OK. I have a VW T4 and I absolutely love it. He’s called Eddie. After Eddie Van Halen, van, yeah… Eddie. And he’s red, so he’s Red Eddie. We have had MANY adventures this year. Except we call them edvantures. I suppose they should be redvantures, but then it starts getting a bit convoluted.

Anyway, it had been a while since our last one, so it was about time to go for a winter edvanture. We were invited to visit The Excelsior Yard in Lowestoft and this turned into a real adventure, not least because it snowed.


On the foreshore at Oulton Broad after a coat of snow

And anyway, I really like driving. It’s a good mindful activity, and lots of my calm, creative thinking happens when I’m on the road. Well, most of it is calm. 

Spending Hours On The Roads – A Game Of Efficiency

Because you’re spending so many hours on the road, mostly motorways and big A-roads, you really get to know how it all works. You start to feel like a regular in your local coffee shop.

And for me, driving is a game of logic and efficiency. You have to maximise road space and drive at appropriate and efficient speeds for the traffic, weather and light conditions. 

Those Infuriating Moments With Other Drivers

Butt soon enough, your perfect lane discipline is interrupted, when you’re suddenly faced with that all-too-familiar decision:

“Do I undertake them?

Flash them?

Or pull out behind them, then out again to overtake them, then back in in front of them, then across a lane again…


Over long journeys, you soon realise this happens all the time. And I’ve now lost count of occasions I’ve sat back a bit, watching a situation unfold, as someone sits slowly in the middle lane and cars nearly pile up all having to slow down and try and overtake them all at the same time. It’s horrible to watch and absolutely infuriating that these drivers are TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS to what is going on around them. How can we make this change?

The other TOTAL OBLIVION that absolutely infuriates me occurs around slip roads. Again, I have lost count of numerous occasions I have been forced to sit behind a car doing 40mph at most, as we join a dual carriageway or motorway where it is to be expected that the traffic is moving at 70mph. There is no way you can safely join this traffic flow at 40mph. It is dangerous. It is oblivious. And when you get stuck behind a car doing 40mph in this situation, you are forced into a horrible position, especially if there are cars behind you and a lot of traffic on the road you are joining.

Even the Highway Code explicitly references this. The driver on the slip road has to give priority to vehicles already on the motorway. This means you have to match your speed to fit safely into the existing traffic. And yet, people are still oblivious.

So, it got me thinking.

Living A Conscious Life

Who are these people? Who drives like this? Sure, we probably all catch ourselves on occasions when we should have pulled in sooner after overtaking. But to consistently drive, for miles and miles and miles, absolutely oblivious to the cars around us. Who does this?

Are these people also oblivious to the rest of the world around them? Are they just not aware? Not open? Not mindful?

It made me realise how conscious I am, of everything that happens around me. I’m particularly conscious of people. I love people. They are fascinating, inspiring, and you never know who you’re going to meet next. 


Driving, as opposed to sailing, across Lyme Bay for a change

Don’t Be Stuck In The Middle Lane Of Life

More than this, it has made me see it as a good analogy for life. 

I don’t want to be stuck in the middle lane of life. I don’t want to be stuck behind someone or something else. This drive to be conscious, to be aware, to notice, to take responsibility for myself, to be one who stands out for the right reasons… these are my values, my deep motivations, and what drive me to run SaltyJobs. And this is what literally keeps me driving on occasions like this, when I have a long journey ahead, but I know it will be worth it.

I created SaltyJobs because it represents an industry that I am totally conscious of, and absolutely passionate about. It’s not even just an industry. It’s not even a lifestyle. For me, it’s my life. 

Be Conscious, Be Awesome

And I absolutely passionately want to help inspire other people to get out of that bloody middle lane and do something awesome with their lives. 

SaltyJobs is a source of inspiration, for anybody who thinks there might be life beyond the metaphorical motorway, to help them discover their dream opportunities working on and around boats. So not only does the middle lane apply to me in why I’m setting up SaltyJobs, but it also applies to you in how you don’t have to get stuck. Do something you love instead, and do it with passion and consciousness.

Look around you, be conscious of each other, work together. And for heaven’s sake just put your foot down and get on with it. 

Go get salty and live your dream. 

Join In – Take Positive Steps

Inspired? Want to move out of that middle lane, into the oceans and start heading efficiently and consciously in the right direction?

Here are some things you can do:

Your comments: join the conversation

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