Creatures of habit

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
20 July, 2018

People have always said, we are creatures of habit.

Every day we wake up at the same time, have the same breakfast, go to the same workplace, eat out at the same restaurants and order the same meals.

We are so predictable that our smartphones can even alert us when to leave for work and when to head to the restaurant for dinner without us setting any notifications. Thanks Google.

This predictability has recently been studied by researchers from the Technical University of Denmark. The authors’ key findings are that the average individual only travels to a maximum of 25 locations regularly over several months and years.

That is, once an individual finds new locations to regularly visit (i.e. your 24th and 25th locations), other previously frequented locations drop off. Think of a new bar or restaurant that becomes your new ‘go to’ for catch-ups with friends.

This got me thinking about the 25 places I and other Wellingtonians like to visit on a regular basis.

The top 5 locations are easy. I start my day at home, catch the same train to Wellington Station, take the same elevator up to the Initiative’s office in the Bayleys building, walk the same path to the Stats NZ data lab, and go to the same nearby Mojo café to start my day with a flat white.

Lunch locations are easy too. Tommy Millions, New World and Lambton Square Eatery are always a top pick for me and local civil servants working in the CBD.  

Evenings are predictable for most Wellingtonians too, me included. Gym classes at 5:30 are always packed, so are local bars and restaurants at 7. I can count all my favourite restaurants on one hand quite easily, can you?

Like many other Wellington young professionals, I like to start my weekend with brunch. Cuba Street cafés are great for coffee and chit chat after a ride or run around the bays. While Maranui Café and Spruce Goose are perfect for family lunch or dinner.

If you’re anything like me you love the 25 places you go to for food, friends and family.

What are my recommendations?

My only recommendation is that you don’t try and take a Wellington bus, because you may never reach any of your top 25 destinations in the first place! 

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