How early is too early?

Train rides, I have discovered, are good for thinking and writing. I left home early tonight to go to an event, and as expected, I need that time, as the train decided to lull after the second stop. If the train didn’t lull, I would have arrived early, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing tonight as I was going to a familiar place.

However, let’s say I was going somewhere less familiar and I left early. Two things can happen. Either something happens that uses up the extra budgeted time (and possibly more), or I arrive early with no major interruptions. If I leave early and arrive early, then I could be stuck with little to do until the event begins, which could be unfortunate depending on the circumstances. However, if I leave early and need that time, I’m obviously grateful that I left early.

But how early is too early to leave without sacrificing time at your previous place? The obvious answer is not to leave needlessly early to start with, but things happen, and that’s why well-intending people are late to things. How early can you leave while maximizing the probability that you will run into unexpected obstacles on the way to your destination? Obstacles aren’t ideal, of course, but if you leave even earlier, you have more time to face these obstacles, making these not unreasonable to look at.

Transportation really is good for thinking.

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