Monday, June 28, 2010

How do you get around?

How do you get around?

Mostly, I ride just about everywhere. We live close to the Melbourne CBD and riding is the quickest way to get there. We're also close to St Kilda and that's an easy ride too. I love riding and of course it's a pretty healthy and environmentally friendly way to travel.

The only thing I need to master is the wearing of regular clothing whilst cycling. I find having to change from exercise wear a bit of a pain. And besides, I've seen lots of people manage in dresses, jeans, high heeled boots and looking fabulously chic. That's my goal. To be able to ride anywhere, wearing whatever I wish.

I try to wear regular clothing where possible, but so far I have ripped two pairs of jeans in the process. Apparently, jeans need stretch to cope with the leg up, leg down motion?!

Until recently, I occasionally drove.

Until last week at least, when I sold my car.

Even though I don't really need a car for the lifestyle I lead, and in fact only drove 4000km in the past TWO YEARS, it still feels like a loss.

A car feels like independence, to me at least.

I've had a car since I was 17 and have always driven, aside from those four years in the UK. When I got back the last time it had been two years since I'd driven and I felt like I needed to re-learn how! It wasn't automatic to me anymore and became something I needed to consciously think about how to do.

However it didn't feel like a negative not to have a car when I lived overseas, in fact I remember it felt quite free. No rego, insurance, unexpectedly expensive services (last time, nearly $1000!

It's just a matter of changing my thinking.

Even though we put it on a month or so ago, I was still quite resistant to selling it and put the price a bit too high. No enquiries - phew. Oh, except for a scammer. That doesn't count :)

And then, one night, I met a friend for a drink in a neighbouring suburb. I had two wines but decided I'd walk home rather than drive.

Nearly two weeks later, I was walking around the area. I saw a car. It looked a lot like my car. I did a double take. There was a missing hub cap. The number plate was ... the same. It WAS my car. And it was in a half an hour PERMIT zone and had somehow not gotten a ticket.

I had left it there for two weeks and had not even once needed it or thought of it or wondered where it was. I know.

Clearly, I did not need it

So we lowered the price and got enquiries straight away and soon it was sold to lovely new owners who really want it and will probably drive it a lot more than me. Plus I now have a nice little sum of cash to use for some wedding expenses, which is definitely more than worth a little sacrifice.

The car is the barometer of your direction

That's what Annette Noontil says in her book, "The Body is the Barometer of your soul" (it's a bit like Louise Hay's book, which I prefer). Some of them are obvious, like constantly driving around on empty.

Which makes me wonder what sailing along "just fine" and then realising there are actually structurally significant problems that need to be fixed means?! That can't be good! Some extra repairs at the end when we did the roadworthy test did help to soften my recent romantic delusions about how fabulous it was to have my "problem free" and rarely-driven car.

She says that not being able to find where you parked your car your signfies a lack of direction. So, Annette, what does it mean if you FIND your car, and you aren't even LOOKING for it, hey??


Come to think of it, I think that's exactly what has happened for Nadine and I recently, with our unexpectedly popular and already sold-out unstuck workshops. Not to mention the deliciously excited talks we're now having about other options and opportunities.

Ok, Annette, you win that one.

So tell me, how do you get around? Is a car necessary to your lifestyle? If your car has ailments, what might they mean? And if you don't have a car, can you please reassure me it will be fine?! :)


  1. I didn't have a car for many of my first years in Australia and I thought a car meant freedom too. In some aspects it does, it's certianly easier to get to certain places when you can drive...but (and forgive me for being an old romantic!) I really do love sitting on the train going for a long journey staring out of the windows, or the wind rushing through my hair as I ride my bike whilst watching the sunset along the bayside.

    I feel so much more connected when I'm on the train or on the bike, in a car I feel more disconnected from the world, in my little steel box, and disconnected from other people - perhaps that's why there's so much road rage!

    That said I'm not sure what it means that my train is ALWAYS late (but perhaps its just giving me more 'me' time to read my book!) - blessings in disguise :)

  2. I don't have a car, as you know! And I LIKE not having one. So much. When the weather is truly miserable, I catch a taxi. The occasional taxi fare just isn't going to add up to the economic and environmental costs of car ownership. I really hate driving. What does that say, I wonder? Probably something like I don't like to move too fast. That would be true.
    My two favoured modes of transportation are walking (everywhere, even to buy groceries) and tram.
    Now, confession time:of a weekend, when I am tired and it's raining, I do rather like that my BF will drive me around. Hypocritical, non?

  3. Thanks for the reassurances girls!

    I agree Lynn, I do find there is more connection in taking public transport, riding or walking rather than being stuck in a car. I loved taking the tube in London for that reason. Even though noone talks or looks at each other it still made me feel connected to the city for some reason.

    You're probably right about the lack of connection/road rage thing. I do feel for people who have to drive long distances to work in busy traffic, sooo stressful!

    And how funny Nadine. I'm getting images of bumper cars and Nadine at the wheel right out of control!

    And I won't be saying no to the occasional car ride from Renz either! xx

  4. Oh and BOO! I got TWO car tickets for parking in that permit zone in the mail yesterday!!! Ah well, won't be getting any more now! xx