My 30-Day No Car Challenge

The world is trying to tell me something. Gas prices in my area are over $4.50/gallon, I recently reduced my commute from three hours a day to ten minutes, I'm financially in the hole, and as I mentioned earlier this week my car broke down and costs twice as much to fix as it's worth. Suddenly, like hitting myself over the head with a frying pan, I'm getting the following messages: reduce your consumption! save the planet! get moving! enjoy the outdoors! don't incur more debt! get creative! And so, folks, I am entering my 30-day No Car Challenge. What's the point of a 30-Day No Car Challenge? Before making any rash decisions like donating my car, buying a new one, buying a used one or sending it up into gold station-wagon heaven (aka the junkyard), I need some time to think about my decision and figure out if I really can live without a car - something I never before thought possible. I'm going to experience a whole new feeling of freedom and dependency at the same time (more on that below).

How the heck am I going to make it work? I live three miles from work - my plan is to roller blade in the morning after I go running (build up legs of steel) if I know I'll be coming home after dark and will be getting a ride. On days where I know I can leave before dark, I'll ride my mom's bike.

What are the drawbacks?

  1. My rollerblades are 12 years old, they don't have brakes, and the wheels are so worn down that they are pointy where they hit the ground.
  2. I'm afraid of riding home (bike or blades) in the dark; especially since the way home from work is through a trail and under a dark bridge.
  3. On that note, I'm afraid of taking the same path every day (paranoid about stalkers)
  4. It becomes a lot more difficult to carry things without a car. Still trying to figure out the best way to go pick up my dry cleaning.
  5. I'll have to rely on others and ask for rides more often
  6. It will be harder for me to spontaneously see friends (unless they come to me or live close).

What are the benefits?

  1. I feel freer already!
  2. I've consolidated my three big heavy bags into one and it feels great!
  3. I'm getting a built-in workout and enjoying the outdoors
  4. I've already saved $200 by not renewing my registration or car insurance (they are both on some kind of latent plan)
  5. I don't have to worry about gas prices for the next 30-days - Muhahahaha!

I'm going to keep a little journal and check back in with you from time to time. Until then, wish me luck!