Sunday, May 19, 2013
No-Car Update: It's No Accident. Pun Intended.
*hauling out soapbox*
*stepping onto said box*
Living without a car is not an afterthought or add-on to your life. It's not a lifestyle aspect you can graft onto your existing life after you've chosen all your other priorities.
You must intentionally set up your living situation ahead of time in order to accommodate this lifestyle. There are sacrifices involved. You might have to give up a bigger house and yard for a smaller place in the city or closer to a bus route, workplace, or school. You might have to take on fewer extracurricular activities and commitments, or choose them carefully based on travel requirements. You will surely need to clear more time, space, and flexibility in your schedule--to live a slowly-paced life. You must be willing to ask for help when you need it, and be ready and available (i.e. not over-booked) to offer other kinds of help in return.
So please don't tell me you would LOVE to be able to live without a car, but you can't because you live outside the city, or not close enough to bus lines, or school is too far away, or work is too far away, or your partner needs the car for work, or you've got to get you and your kids to a-b-c-d-x-y-z.
It's likely that you had some choice in where you live and the activities you participate in--that they were not forced upon you.
So instead of flippantly stating, "Oh, well I'd love to do that too, but..." perhaps instead say that you would like to live without a car, but that you didn't purposefully set up your living situation and make the sacrifices necessary so you would not need a car in the first place. You simply had different priorities.
I'd totally respect this response. I've never heard it. But I'd respect it if I did.
(Other answer I respect: "You're completely nuts. I love my car and I love having a car. I couldn't live without it." No excuses.)
*stepping down from and (temporarily) storing soap box...*