Thursday, May 06, 2010

Car-Free


A car used to sit in this spot, but it's gone.  We have upgraded to a car-free lifestyle! I call it an upgrade because that's how I experience it.  We've been living car-light for the past 5 years, and my quality of life has increased dramatically.  We walk and bike lots of places (including the grocery store).  We wave at neighbors and notice the yellow wood tree is about to bloom.  We see the trash on the side of the street and pick it up.  We hold hands and talk.  

We're in the midst of preparing for a move to the Pacific NorthWest.  We'll be living where there is great public transportation.  We're giving a car-free lifestyle a try and I'm very excited about this!  Of course, we save money:  no more petro costs, oil changes, new tires and transmissions, insurance, etc.  And we save time:  No more waiting for the oil change or scraping windows.  

Yes, it may take a bit longer to get places, but I'll get there by my own (renewable) energy or on public transit and I'll enjoy the views along the way.  There may be some things I simply can't do because I don't have a car.  That can be a blessing.  ;-)  

I'll let you know how it goes!   

12 comments:

Ginger said...

I admire your ability to go car-free. Good luck with your move. I have friends that live out there and they love it. Email me if you want specifics.

Hootie said...

I'm a little envious of your freedom to be car-free. I can't imagine life without a car with the schedules in my household to manage. That noted, I do enjoy wonderful walks!

Looking at your upcoming move, it almost seems like the Pacific NW and you (and your DH) were made for each other! I am thinking you two will melt right into your new home/environment very quickly.

I can't wait to read about your new adventures and finds! :)

hugs

Southern Touch Catering said...

Good for you. Going car free here is out of the question. I live eight miles from the closest grocery store and town. My bank is also that far out as well as post office, hospital, Dr's office, etc. We also have a catering business that relies on not one but two vehicles at the minimum. But hats off to those who can. Best of luck to you on your move. Can't wait to hear all the details.

Melanie said...

Oh wow - such exciting news!! Are you moving to Oregon or Washington? Brian & I are really hoping he'll find a teaching position out there when he finishes up his grad program, so maybe we'll be neighbors!

La Tea Dah said...

Welcome to the PNW. I think you are moving to Marilyn's town --- and public transportation is fantastic there. My dad worked for your company and I've ridden the light rail all the way there before! I'm worried about how you will get to see some great sites and wonderful hiking along the river gorge without a car --- but I know you will achieve it. I look forward to the 'how' and 'what way' as time goes on. How exciting to move!

Steph said...

Thank you for the all the encouragement and good wishes. :-)

Steph said...

PS - La Tea Dah - We're not opposed to renting a car on occasion, so that's one option for excusions.

Marilyn said...

Oh yes, I am excited you will be my neighbor just across town and light rail goes not far from my home if you bring your bike along. It will take you past a beautiful rose garden. And as for hiking this summer you can join the WuWo Tea Ceremony in outdoor adventures. I do see some new adventures for you even if you are carless.

parTea lady said...

A car-free lifestyle sounds terrific (really amps up your fitness level). I do miss the excellent public transportation system of Toronto and we now must have a car in our small GA town.

It's always exciting to be making a move. Knowing you already have a great neighbor is fun.

Alex Zorach said...

This is so encouraging, especially reading this right after I wrote about sustainability in my tea blog!

=)

I lived without a car in college, and then again for 1 year in grad school in New Haven, CT. I loved living without a car in college. In grad school, it was annoying because most grad students lived farther away...I found it was harder for me to be social.

I would like to move somewhere where I didn't need a car but unfortunately, I don't think there are very many good choices, for me to live the sort of lifestyle I want to live. I'm not much of a city person...I absolutely can't stand New York, Boston, or D.C, and the west coast is too far (and too alien culturally) for me.

So I'm stuck here dealing.

I tend to use my car rarely, and only for long-distance travel, not commuting. It does keep you in better shape.

The good thing is...the more people who choose to live without cars, or at least minimize their use of cars, the easier it makes it for other people who also want to use their car less. People who walk will favor businesses in walkable areas, which then encourages new business development in walkable neighborhoods. I would like to see home buying patterns start following...but alas, people here in Delaware are still buying houses in these terrible, isolated suburban subdivisions. But I am starting to see more walkable commerce pop up--storefronts on the street close to the center of my town, mixed use...apartments and offices upstairs. I'm hoping the housing will follow suit at some point...

Marlena said...

Good for you! I'll be thinking of your moving, as we do the dread deed in less than 2 weeks! We'll still be in the country, up a huge hill, so we will keep a car.

Angela McRae said...

I can't wait to hear how this goes! I've always liked this idea "in theory" (I think Tasha Tudor had the right idea!), but practically speaking I've never seen it done. I like that you seem to have a realistic view of the challenges that may be ahead, yet you seem prepared and ready to tackle them. I look forward to the reports!