I Am Happier Without a Car

I just solid our 2021 Kia Telluride and travel trailer to a wonderful family the other day. It makes me very happy. I basically gave them the trailer if they paid blue book for the car. It was a hell of a deal, but it was so worth it to get rid of it without any friction, and an added bonus that it went to such a great family. It has once again left us without a car, living in a big city, but absolutely loving not having to own an automobile, and I am hoping will be something that will continue for the rest of my life.

I do not think we are capable of assessing the true cost of automobile ownership. I am not just talking about the car payments, fuel, and insurance. I am talking about the psychological toll of driving, parking, always having that car out there somewhere that we have to worry about. I have gone a couple cycles in my life where I have not owned a car, and I can confidently say that I am truly happier without a car in my life—-despite all the beliefs we deeply hold that our cars are good for us.

I am a good driver. I’d even say a really good driver. I have only had two accidents, one someone pulled out in front of me and it wasn’t my fault, and the other I was completely drunk and it was totally my fault—-luckily it was a single car accident. I am also a very aggressive driver. I am not afraid to drive anywhere, and I get pumped up in high pressure situations. I have owned a lot of cars in my life, had motorcycles, and have driven big trucks and trailers—-I historically have loved cars.

I am going to work really, really, really hard to avoid owning a car again in my life. I will also work hard to not have to rent a car. I’d prefer to walk, ride a bike, take transit, trains, and occasionally a plane. I want the second half of my life to be car free. I am happier that way, and I am genuinely a better person. To achieve this means that I will have to live in big cities. That is fine. It is a tradeoff I am willing to make. I will visit places I can get to on trains, and hopefully walk from there.

When Werner Herzog said, “The world reveals itself to those who walk”, it shook my soul. It rattled my being. It revealed to me just how much of our institutional baggage is wrapped up in the automobile. The automobile is oozing with all the patriarchy and institutional racism that spews from the exhaust pipe of our society. I feel that not owning a car and living somewhere where I don’t have to own a car is one of the most radical things I can do to push back on the system I despise so much.

I am happier without a car. Plenty of my friends will scoff at this and rattle off some programmed response to why they can’t and won’t. I don’t care. This isn’t about you, this is about me. This is about where I am at in my journey, regardless of its reflection of where you are at in your journey. I feel so much lighter without a car and insurance. I feel so much freer. I can go anywhere and do anything I want. I don’t feel all those cords attached to me, holding me down, and keeping me controlled by others.