The Best Way

Posted by David Meerman Scott 11:30 AM on August 13, 2013

Over the weekend, I drove from my home near Boston to New York City to pick up my daughter who had been there for a summer internship. I’ve driven the roughly 225-mile trip a bunch of times and have worked out a pleasant, non-stressful route I like, much of it on parkways that do not allow commercial vehicles. My route mostly avoids the big interstate highways.

This trip we wanted to stop along the way to have lunch with my brother and his family, requiring a detour. So I fired up the GPS system to help me navigate to meet up with them at a place not along my usual route.

The fastest way

The GPS gave me the fastest route: Via the Cross Bronx Expressway and Interstate 95. But for me, this route would be terrible!

Wikipedia says the Cross Bronx Expressway “is one of the main routes for shipping and transportation through New York City… known for its extreme traffic problems; on a typical day 175,000 vehicles travel on the six lanes of highway.”

Competing with eighteen-wheelers on a New York City superhighway? No thank you!

My GPS was optimizing for time. But of course, that’s only one consideration.

The most enjoyable way

I ended up using Google Maps on my iPhone to pick a route using the West Side Highway, Henry Hudson Parkway, Hutchinson River Parkway, and Merritt Parkway. These are all much quieter passenger car only roads that meander through heavily wooded areas. It was a pleasant trip with no stress.

My route took two minutes longer according to the GPS.

So which is best?

“The Best Way”

This got me to thinking about “the best way.” In everything we do, there are always different factors to weigh when considering any course of action.

I’ve often found that what the “experts” say is best is not the way I prefer. Going my own way has helped me enjoy life and spend time with those who are important to me.

How about you? Do you take the “best way” or your own way?

David Meerman Scott

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