My husband and I moved back from China a year ago and it's been rough keeping up with the economy. About 3 months ago, I realized how unhappy I was having a car because I felt like all our money went to gas (we all feel this way, right!?).
I said to the universe, "I don't want a car anymore" and within a week, it died on me and I am now without a car. It was the universe giving me what I wanted and I decided I could do without. Not having a car has really forced me to live and utilize what is within my own community - it all has to be within a reasonable distance biking or walking.
For work, my biggest challenge, my husband takes me in the morning and then a co worker drops me off on a main street on her way home and I walk the 4 miles home (two big hills!). In the winter, I can take the bus from my drop off point to the street I live on and walk the remaining 1/2 mile home.
Can I just tell you, I am so happy? I don't have to worry about car issues anymore. It's sometimes a little inconvenience, but it is really great and we are able to save a lot more money! And I feel great too!
I come home nice and ready for dinner, a bath and a good night's sleep. I don't have to worry about the fluctuation in gas prices and I don't have to pay for a gym membership anymore.
I'm also much more aware of my own community. I feel like nowadays, people are so spread out: they don't shop in their community, they don't know their neighbors, they don't attend special events in their community, they are all over the map. Now I want to find more volunteer opportunities locally (before I was traveling up to an hour away for beach clean ups meanwhile emitting carbon monoxide) and really make a difference in MY COMMUNITY. What happened to community?
Amber from San Diego, CA
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Upon retirement we got rid of our second vehicle and I don't regret it for a moment. Houston Metro has really good discounts for seniors and I have reached the final plateau....FREE! At age 70 I got a special card which permits me to ride any regularly scheduled mode of transportation for nothing. I take the bus to work on days when I go and to visit my granddaughter. There is a park and ride where they pick me up. Almost a 60 mile journey one way for free. One of the very few nice things about being old. I wish more people would use public transportation.
I heard New Yorkers are healthier than people who live in the country. I can believe it because they walk everywhere. I live in the country and people drive everywhere. They even drive a mower to cut their grass. I have to own a car, but I traded in my Ford Escape for a smaller Focus. I have a non-riding mower so I get quite a workout mowing my large lawn. I have a job- teaching- in which I spend all day on my feet walking between desks and around campus. I would like to move to town someday and I think we should all eventually give up our cars. I plan to retire near a bus line though!
I hope you give your co-worker who buys gas, insurance and maintenance on her car something for dropping you off. I suspect they could feel a little $ appreciation would be nice on your part. edie
Ah! I asked the universe for this, too (but I did not mean for hubby to be car-less) and I am finding that my not owning a freezer or washer is really the only stumbling block I have.
He's having more problems adjusting.
I'm washing more by "hand" and making a side trip for a few items at the store rather than the bank and back busting stock up trip.
I have a must be walked portion of my trek to work. It's fine in good weather and doable in snow. Sadly, it is northward, so I;m walking into the flakes.
And, yes - walking is a great way to re-invest oneself back into the local community.
For a little entertainment, do be sure and find some old episodes of the British comedy, "Good Neighbours" aka "The Good Life" here in America.
It's a charming little slice-of-life comedy about a former executive and his wife living off the grid and doing their part for green. Cute, and highly recommended for a bit of unwinding after the neighbourhood walkabout.
I too don't have a car, but that is very difficult in the more rural area where I live. I generally walk to and from work, but that is getting difficult due to knee problems. There is nothing even resembling public transportation in my area, and even though my work is well under a mile from home, if I must take a cab, the least I pay is $6. That's an hours worth of work for me. Not at all frugal.
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