Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Edit: Choosing NO Car!

WE SOLD OUR CAR and WE ARE NOT GETTING A NEW ONE.  At least not in the near foreseeable future.  Letting go of the car is an oddly tough choice to make.  It felt unreal putting it up for sale last night, especially when we sold it, handed over the keys and saw it driving off in less then four hours. 
Wow!  It’s done now and there's no going back. 


My husband Spencer, though on board with the decision to sell, was awfully quiet throughout this whole process.   I knew what was going through his mind, because I was pinched by those nagging questions too. 
Are we making a BIG mistake?
Are we going to regret our decision?  How soon?
Is it foolish?

IT’S NOT.  After all, we’re selling the car because it’s an unnecessary expense, it’s a luxury item we rarely use, and worst of all IT’S BROKEN.  That’s right, we don’t drive it because it’s broken!  It’s time to stop paying gas, insurance and repairs for a thing that might or might not carry us a few blocks without breaking down.
I’m excited we’re rid of it and I kept reminding Spencer that we’re not going to mourn a thing that lately gave us so much trouble.  We won’t and we can’t.  We are bravely going to move forward—by foot, by bike or by public transportation—and it will be so much better.  The decision to sell the car wasn’t made lightly.  We’ve debated the pros and cons, and discussed it at length with family and friends.  Months passed before we finally went through with it.

For most Americans, or probably most anybody in the world, having a car is the default status, and it’s difficult to imagine life without it.  I don’t care so much about car ownership, because I am much more interested in access.  Salt Lake City offers access to all kinds of things without the need of a car.  Since moving into the heart of downtown Salt Lake last fall, I quite enjoyed not having to use our car every day.  I’m grateful for our current location and the extensive transportation system we could rely on if need be.  I don't feel the need to own a car anymore.   It bothered me more then it did good because it wasn’t really useful to us.  I also think it’s quite liberating that I can go about my day without driving to do anything. 

I suppose, I took it as a given that I always had and needed a car.  In many ways, a car is a sort of status symbol, just as being able to learn driving a car is as a teenager.  Fancy me, I even learned to drive stick shift.  In the words of one of my good friends, this means that I have the privilege and good luck not to be a helpless damsel when it comes to driving.  I would be able to drive anything, even a tractor, out of the sticks if I had to.
But I don't like driving. 
I really don't and I'm ecstatic about each day I don't have to drive. 

When we first moved into the city, we went days without it.  Then weeks.  We drove on special occasions when we planned an outing or wanted to go hiking.  Mostly my husband drove, but he also started to dislike driving.  I suppose you never consider the unnecessary stress of a fast-paced highway commute or congested streets until this drive is not a necessary evil in your day anymore.  And then, the car kept having mechanical problems and we were pretty much afraid to drive it anywhere.  So this is what let us to where we are now... choosing NO car.

So, today is day one of our car-free life.  So far, in the months and weeks of using the car way less, I’ve enjoyed the additional exercise and reduced guilt about pollution and travel expenses.  It’s also nice getting to know and discover all the little streets and alleys of the city as I paddle past.  You see so much more when you’re going slow and have the ability to stop and hop off whenever you like.  You could stop to smell the roses.  This isn’t so much of a cliché, because if you know me, you can see how I’ve done this on more then one occasion.

HappySunday♡ Nina

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