Life Without a Car

I’ve oft fantasized what it would be like to not need a car. The idea appeals greatly to me — saving a chunk of the Ozone, saving a lot of money, and overall, living a much simpler life. Oh, also, completely solidfying my “hippy lifestyle” as my engineering friends and colleagues like to call it.

I finally decided to put all of this down on e-paper after reading this article on Yahoo! Finance from The Atlantic: Why Are Young People Ditching Cars for Smartphones?

To be honest, I might be more excited about the assumptions that would have to be true in order for me to not have a car. Not having a car means that I am close enough to work, entertainment, food, and hobbies to commute by bike or a short bus ride. It means I love my community so much that I don’t foresee myself needing to leave it any time soon. In essence, it’s kind of being in a place of nirvana, having all facets of my life under control and completely happy with where I am and where I’m headed.

I know, it seems a bit out there, especially since “it’s just a car”. But there’s no way I would get rid of my car if any one of those things were out of line.

Realistically though, it would be very difficult for me to not have a car. Most obviously, because I’m a rock climber, and I’m averse to hitchhiking and/or relying on friends to take me climbing with them. Engineering companies are not typically located in the heart of a city, where I prefer to live if I can’t be completely in the country. So, while I still wear the shackles of being an electrical engineer, I will need to commute to the office that is usually out in a fringe suburb. Then of course, there’s family implications. I have three living grandparents, my parents, and two sisters, none of which live in the same locale. I try to visit them as often as I can, but not having a car would severely limit those visits….and I’m not sure how many more visits I’ll get to have with my grandparents.

All in all, I am doing everything in my power to achieve that state of “life nirvana”, but I just don’t see it happening any time soon. My commute to work is 20 miles one-way, and public transportation would take two-and-a-half hours. My grandparents are still kicking, and my parents still live on the lake. The nearest outdoor crags are all about an hour away.

But I’m not complaining; I still get to dream. What would your life look like without a car?

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.

4 responses to “Life Without a Car

  1. I don’t have my car in Chicago and it’s both wonderful and problematic. The worst part being is that you’re stuck within a 10-mile radius. If I see grass anymore I get very excited—and this is coming from someone who used to spend all my weekends either in the mountains or on a soccer field.
    My own personal nirvana without a car? My bike. Get a good bike. Ride it to work or even to the grocery store on the weekends. It makes life waaay more fun and it appeases the hippie in you.

    1. Claire, I still can’t fathom why you made the geographic change, but I’m glad it’s working. It’s also good you haven’t lost your CO, hippy roots. :-p

  2. I like the idea of not having a car as well. Right now I drive an hour to my job and the town I live in is spread out. I could ride bike around town, but that takes up my valuable free time. I want to be able to do as much as I can when I’m not busy with work or school.

    I think having an older car that is paid off would be the best of both worlds. Less expenses (interest, car payment, insurance), but I would still have the freedom that a car provides. Maybe this all leads towards the case against buying a new(er) car that comes with a payment and higher insurance costs.

  3. @Zeus
    That’s kind of the way I’m looking at it now. My car is paid off and gets great gas mileage. There’s no reason to sell it (even if I didn’t need it). But just having that option *to* sell it would be great, wouldn’t it?

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