Saturday, December 29, 2012

Living Car-Free

Back in the states I was lucky enough to have my own car.  I loved my little car.  We got it second hand, and it never let me down in the 5 years I had it.  I thoroughly enjoyed being able to go anywhere, whenever I wanted.  Grocery shopping was a cinch, movie in 20 minutes? No problem! An impromptu road trip to go exploring, easy! Let’s go!

Then we planned our move.  Should the car sit in my parents driveway when we don’t know when/if we will return?  My parents would have to make sure to drive it once a week and maintain it while the value would continue to go down.  In the end, we decided to sell it.  And I was devastated.  I equated my independence with that car and being able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

In our new home, a car is not possible financially, and before I knew it, a car-free life was upon me.  At first I viewed this as a horrible thing.  How would I possibly go grocery shopping?  I would always need to wait for my husband to go with to help me schlep it all home! How could I be independent?  The commute to work would be awful!  In the end, it actually is not the nightmare scenario I had once envisioned, and we are saving a lot of money and being kinder to the environment in the process.

My husband helped me find this nifty cart for my grocery shopping and other errands so I can feel more independent (and don't worry, he uses it plenty!).  I also signed up for this fast-pass so I don’t have to worry about having small change all the time for the local buses and we get discounts for using it as well!  The public transport here is fairly good, with plenty of buses and ways to get home, to work and to go out.  We of course appreciate whenever friends and family offer us rides or their cars, but most of the time we are able to be quite independent.  While we may want to get a car in the future when we start a family or have a change in living situation, being car-free suits us quite well at this point in our lives. 

I do wish something like Zipcar was available in our area so we could be even more independent when we are in need of a vehicle.  But it is a great option for those of you in the states looking to go car-free!

What are your thoughts on car ownership?