So I was on the bus home last night, in the middle of a snow emergency, and we passed at least 8 cars being towed because they should not have been parked on the street after 9 pm. These girls behind me asked what was going on, and later had a conversation basically saying they were happy they didn’t own cars, didn’t have to deal with parking and whatnot, and that it was so liberating.
Now on the one hand, I totally agree with that. Its how I felt when I lived here without a car, and to an extent it is still how I feel. However, having a means you can jump in it and go any time you want, day or night. No waiting, or not being able to go because its too late and the bus has stopped running.
Here is where I think the freedom in not having a car comes in: a car ties you down. You have to pay a loan on it, car insurance, get it fixed, move it when plows come through, whatever. If you want to leave the country, it becomes a pain because then you have to get rid of it, cancel insurance (which requires mailing in plates) and all kinds of hassle. Or if you don’t get rid of it, you have to find a place to store it when you leave
So ultimately, I end up both identifying with this girls, and feeling a bit silly about agreeing with them. I think I would have to say that for most car owners, leaving the country is not a concern for them, and some times not even an option to begin with.