Yesterday as I braved a new first with my two little guys (taking Ewan and his bike on the train), I was reminded that we are nearing our 4-year anniversary of being car-free.
I’m not sure that I’ve really talked about it before but getting rid of our car was an easy decision. We were moving abroad and knew that it didn’t make sense to have it parked for the two years while we were away.
As it turns out, staying car-free has been relatively easy too.
Sure, there are some challenges but we are still committed to working through them. Why not just buy the car and make life easier?
Well, to put it simply, I love the life that being car-free forces us into.
I love biking as much as we do (though I still haven’t fully returned to biking since Xander was born).
I love walking and chatting and noticing things as we move, literally, through our days.
I love that it keeps us out of stores, that it keeps us mindful of the purchases we make because we’re going to be carrying it home.
I love that it helps us to step more lightly on this earth.
I love finding creative solutions to solving the challenges that being car-free brings up.
I love that we notice the weather and change plans accordingly. Rainy days call for rain boots and umbrellas. Hot days might be spent nearer to home. Some days the weather keeps us from going out entirely. I much prefer that to going from home to car to building, barely taking notice of the outside world around.
I love that I am able to stay home with our two boys, in part because we’ve made financial choices (including not paying for a vehicle) that allow me to do so.
And now, watching Ewan as he starts to zoom on the first little bike of his own, I’m loving that he is learning so many good lessons too.
He is learning that we have to use our bodies to get from place to place.
He is learning that biking is faster than walking, even at two-years-old.
He is learning that he can take his bike on public transportation.
He is learning that the process of getting somewhere, the journey, can be as much fun as the destination.
And I know Xander is learning this all too. And I’m glad that both my boys have this chance.
I’m not sure how long we’ll be car-free. For now, there’s no reason to change. There might be in the future and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.