No-car, week 1&2

I’ve had a bit more than a week at home, so I figure it’s time for an update on my No-Car Challenge. Thus far, I have mostly followed all the rules I originally set forth. I got a ride home from the airport and drove to get dinner with my cousin because I was going with my brother, who would have driven anyway. I went to Walla Walla earlier, which is obviously outside the Seattle city limits. I did cheat a bit yesterday and get a ride home from my aunt after walking 3.5 miles to her house because I had a cold and needed to start cooking dinner for friends who were coming over. And I got a ride home from the Harry Potter premier last night because buses don’t run at 3am.

Strangely, it doesn’t feel like that big of a deal to not drive anywhere. I’ve been taking the bus more than I thought I would, and while busing usually takes about twice as long as driving somewhere, I’ve been able to get a ton of reading done that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I’ve done a few long walks to get places too, but mostly, I’ve just been chilling at home reading books.

So far, I don’t feel like I’ve done anything especially profound or out of the ordinary by not driving. Maybe this will change if I get more ambitious–I’m thinking of trying to bus out to Issaquah to see my aunt and cousins, and also of doing an entirely public transit trip to Mason Lake to see my grandma. Even if I don’t achieve a Zen-like trancendence of car culture, though, I’m accomplishing my main goal quite nicely. In the (almost) two weeks I’ve been home, I’ve spent a total of $18 on busses and $60 on gas to drive to Walla Walla. There’s no way that I could have driven around this whole time without spending at least $30 on gas and another $15 on parking. And while I’m definitely not saving the world, saving money feels almost as good.

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