I got my license when I was exactly sixteen years old and thirty days, on December 31, 2002. To say I was excited is a gross understatement.
Pulling out of the garage in my first, a 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse. (Yes, I learned to drive a manual from the very beginning!)
Driving is a rite of passage in the US. Teenagers eagerly await the freedom and autonomy that comes with obtaining a driver’s license. I was no different, and I had parents who purchased me a used—but still functional and nice—car. I drove it everywhere: to school every morning, to work after volleyball practice, to youth group, to my friends’ houses. I loved driving when I was in high school.
Some people hate driving; some people will always love it. My love of driving started off strong, but faded over the years until I now loathe driving long distances and stay in the house to avoid getting in the car.
Which is why living in Europe opened my mind to a whole new idea of mobility—walking. (I promise, I did walk before, just not as a means to get from Point A to Point B.) I loved walking to work as a Conversation and Language Assistant in 2011, especially since it meant I lost weight without even trying. I had a long commute on the bus, which I didn’t like, but I did enjoy the morning quiet, and the break after a long day.
These sorts of views don’t hurt.
There are times when walking isn’t as fun: when it’s raining, when it’s bitterly cold, when it’s so hot you sweat just from standing outside … but most of the time, I enjoy walking, and I think it’s the best way to get around, from a health standpoint and an environmental one.
So, Mario and I are moving to Madrid, as you know. He gets there Tuesday. I get there Thursday. We won’t have a car. Is it weird to say the idea is oddly freeing? I know, someday we’ll want one, no matter where we are. Our life will be full of getting from Point A to Point B. (That’s what you get when you’re in a relationship with a foreigner.) However, owning a car is just not a smart decision for us right now. We don’t know what country we’ll be in in five years, let alone what city. We don’t want to pay astronomically high fees to park our car that we’d only use once or twice a month anyway. (Driving in Madrid is not my idea of fun!) So we made an almost-unspoken decision to forego a car. Let the walking commence!
Walking the streets of Toro.
If you live in Spain or somewhere else in the world besides the US, do you own a car? Why or why not?