Last week, I sold my car to CarMax and officially began my quest to go car free for the summer. I don’t live in NYC, so to go car free anywhere else in this great country of ours can be seen as a bold, some might say crazy move. And though, I live in a major metropolitan area with access to public transportation, the car still rules supreme and to go without one puts you in the minority.
This move to a car-free life was not taken lightly. I looked at it from all angles, all scenarios. I evaluated every “what if” as if planning an escape from a pending nuclear disaster. What if I needed to take Paxton to the vet, what if I had an appointment to somewhere outside the beltway, what if I had a large item to get home and the list went on and on. But these were the exceptions, not the everyday. And for every exception, I found an alternative to getting there without having a car to call my own. Everything I needed was either within 5 miles of my house, accessible by foot, bus or could be done through online shopping and delivery services. I concluded that I was keeping a car out of fear. Fear of the “what if.”
I no longer wanted to be controlled by fear. I decided to let go of something that I had for 24 years believed to be a necessity of life, my car. I thought by giving up the car, I’d feel constricted with no freedom to come and go as I please. However, now 8 days into my car free lifestyle I’ve discovered that by lifting the burden of car payments, maintenance, parking meters, parking tickets and high gas prices, the freedom I so feared of losing was just that, fear. I guess FDR was right after all, “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”