But How Will You Live Without a Car?!

10:13 PM

First, we have done a lot of thinking about this, and we are very fortunate to be in an area where living without a car is an option for us. We also understand that not everyone has to go car free, or can, but everyone can go car light. And many have been doing so just because of gas prices alone. So here is the "how" of us deciding to live without a car:

#1 We will ride our bikes!
#2 We will walk!

Other options:
We will use the train that we can easily walk to from our house.
We will use the bus.
We will call a taxi.
We will rent a car for long distance trips. 
We can borrow a car from other family members, or humble ourselves and ask for a ride.

We will walk more and utilize our little town, which has many great businesses. A cheese shop, a flower shop, hardware store, coffee shop, pet shop, pizza...! There is a lot where we are and it's all less than a block away. Sure some things are more expensive, but not having a car helps us keep the main street going versus the big box stores. Plus, we get to socialize with local shop owners and residents. You don't get that when you go to Walmart. Have you ever talked to the owner of Walmart? You never will and probably don't want to talk at that big round conference table full of suits anyway.

When it comes to groceries we have a few options in stores, some are easier to get to than others. If it's not safe to ride we will use a taxi. Unfortunately, it's not as safe to ride to the store we most frequent since it gets darker earlier, and crimes have increased in the town we have to ride through. In the summer bikes will be used more often to go food shopping. Also, we have cut the need to get our produce at the store. We now belong to an organic food co-op that supports local farmers and it gets delivered right to our door once per week.

We are choosing not to own a car. Hopefully it will sell soon. We know it will not be all peaches and cream, but it's the right thing for us to do. We are proud to say we are going car free, and are happy to be able to teach our children that they have options. That life can be just as great and rewarding without things as it can be with them, maybe even more so.

We can't wait to see what awesome experiences we will have together, and all of the people we get to meet along the way. It will be nice to slow down, stop the bikes, and take it all in.

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  1. what about playdates? and kid's activities (soccer?)? how do you manage this?
    you should be proud to say you are car free. it is an amazing decision to take!

    1. Thank you! Playdates will happen, we just have to be aware of our limits and maybe use our thinking caps for creative places, and with more planning on our part. Meeting friends in places that the train goes to and having more of our friends over to our house and the beach. Soccer may have to go for now. It was only a clinic for a few weeks. Nat has expressed interest in wanting to take up dance again and we have a studio within walking distance. There is so much for the kids to do within walking and biking distance. You don't even realize how much is so close until you make a decision like this. We have a lot here and the kids will have plenty to do. I think the thing I will miss most will be easy access to hiking in the parks, but with some planning that can happen, just not so much on a whim anymore.

  2. Hi Megan,

    Awesome! The best thing you'll ever do. I'm a fifty year old single parent (My son is older; a teenager) living in Buffalo, NY who--after being car-lite for years--finally gave up car ownership about 6 or 7 months ago and have not looked back. One thing you may consider is a car-share program, if they have one in your area (I know NYC has Zip Car). I'm a member of a local version of that (which I use maybe once a month) and that alleviates the problem of going somewhere far or in foul weather. Anyhow, I just wanted to say congratulations! Peace. Joe www.urbansimplicity.com

  3. We all know it can be done. Thanks for doing it in yet another doubtful city. My issues right now come with child illness and needing to pick up other children, lack of family cycling friends so I feel very lonely, leaving town long term, as we need the very expensive mini-van with four children. What do you forsee some of your most pressing challenges?

    If we choose to attend the local school, things would be different. Soccer was an issue for us too, but we could have gotten a zip-car (2miles away) or shared rides, or navigated the bus that runs every 2hrs, instead we drove, but even for the 8-10weeks of soccer, that wasn't so bad ;) My most recent driving annoyance was for a 5 min out of town appointment that had no other good parent/child transportation option. I do love the challenges that limiting vehicle use brings up, even on the days we drive. I know you are not anti car, but rather pro simplicity, pro community, pro fiscal savvyness.

    Keep blogging, the world is watching what a great example you are, and learning about overcoming the 'norm' to be intentional and engaged.

  4. That's awesome, but I'm going to miss meeting up with you and the kiddos at the reservoir. You are definitely in an area where bikes are more doable for getting around. Best of luck on the journey, I look forward to reading more :)