Whether you're a kid or an adult, going to school, going to work, or even going on a holiday, most of us know what it's like to be stuck in traffic. It could be a traffic jam in a car, a wait to get on a train or a bus, or a delayed flight. The bottom line? Commuting, or travelling regularly from one place to another, can be a bit of a bummer.
But not for Benjamin David. For him, every morning commute is like floating through a dream. That's probably because he is actually floating! You see, this man from Munich, Germany swims to work every day.
Water you waiting for?
Benjamin, 40, had spent years getting to work like most other people in Munich (and around the world). Sometimes that meant taking the bus. Other times he drove on the highway. He might also have cycled to work or even walked the whole way. But no matter what he tried, he kept running into the same issues. Everything was too crowded. People got frustrated and impatient on their long, busy commutes. And so did Benjamin.
Then he took a closer look at the Isar River. It flows through the heart of downtown Munich, including right by Benjamin's apartment and where he works. Before cars and even trains, the river was used for transportation and as a trade route for goods. What if I swam to work instead? he thought.
Two years ago he tried it for the first time. And he's never looked back.
Floating 'fish bag'
Benjamin's 2 km (about 1 mi.) water commute is both fast and relaxing. If he swims the whole way, he can make it to work in about 12 to 15 minutes. Then he climbs out of the river, towels off, and gets ready to start his work day. He doesn't even need to take a morning shower at home!
And how does he carry his change of clothes and smartphone? He uses a waterproof bag called the Wickelfisch (yes, it's even shaped like a fish!). This bag also floats, which allows him to sometimes simply float and let the current carry him downstream to work. (This way takes longer, but is super relaxing!) And thanks to Munich's recent restoration plan, the Isar is clean and has many stretches featuring pebble beaches and lovely trees.
This is really starting to sound like a great idea, right?
"Hey, are you Aquaman?"
No, Benjamin is not appearing in the upcoming Justice League movie. But he is still a bit of hero to others. Since his trips started to get more media attention, he says that others have joined his daily dip. Thanks to wetsuits, Benjamin even swims all year round (except during thunderstorms).
The only real drawback? Because of the strong current, he can't swim home and takes the bus instead. But it's hard to imagine a more pleasant way to start your day.
Note: Open waterways such as rivers, canals, and lakes can contain dangerous currents and pollution. They are not always safe for swimming, and public swimming can sometimes be illegal.