50 Reasons I’m Grateful to be Car-less

Like most Americans, I began driving when I was 16.  I bought my mom’s car when she got a new one, and I found myself with a 1996 Plymouth Acclaim.  I drove to high school and back, to parties and to work.  I sped and got tickets, and I bumped against enough curbs to lose all of my hubcaps.  When I was 18, I sold my car.  And unlike most Americans, I didn’t get a new one.

In two weeks I’ll turn 28, marking my ten-year anniversary of being car-less.  I’ll admit, when I’m cyclying to work in the blistering heat or pouring rain, when I’m walking home from the grocery store with my hiking bag full of food weighing down on my shoulders, and when I want to visit my friends who don’t live in the city, I glance at the passing traffic wistfully.

So why don’t I drive?  Because I’m a travel junkie.  If I’d been pouring my money into a vehicle I wouldn’t have been able to ride a scooter past fields of palm trees in Lombok, Indonesia.

I would have missed watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

I wouldn’t have snorkeled with tortoises…

…or gone scuba diving with sharks (photo by Amber Allen).

I wouldn’t have seen this spectacularly odd penis park in Korea.

I would have missed out on this ancient temple…

…as well as this castle…

…and this royal palace.

I wouldn’t have gotten engaged in Korea on a random Saturday afternoon.

I wouldn’t have hiked by the moais on Easter Island…

salsa danced in Chile…

or written on the Lennon wall in Prague.

I wouldn’t have sent my wishes down a river in Korea at the Jinju Lantern Festival (Photo by Alex Wade)

I never would have worn traditional clothes to a Ugandan wedding,

or boated up the Saigon River.

I would have missed out on this beer tour in Munich…

…along with the Church of Bones in the Czech Republic.

I wouldn’t have seen Picasso’s art in person in Vienna…

or tasted Argentinian malbec while in Argentina.

I wouldn’t have felt extreme sadness from standing beside a mass grave of mothers and babies at the killing fields…

… or cried inside the S-21 prison where thousands were tortured during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia…

… or cried again in the Agent Orange display in the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam.  (rough trip!)

I would have only seen elephants in the zoo, not roaming free in a national park…

…same with monkeys…

…and lions…

and hippos.

I wouldn’t have bargained for bow tie-wearing sperm earrings with Nicole in Beijing…

Or bought Chinese hats in Tienanmen Square…

… or walked through Machu Picchu with her.

I’d never have seen this fire show in Thailand.

I wouldn’t have been on each sides of the equator at the same time.

I would have missed this beautiful traditional Cambodian dance performance.

…as well as this tango show in Buenos Aires.

I wouldn’t have stood over tiered rice fields.

I’d never have seen the uses of scooters in Asia…

…or Africa.

I also wouldn’t have met this old man…

these kids…

this little girl…

this artist…

this author…

these musicians…

this bar owner…

These boys…

this monk…

these teens…

this vendor…

these students…

This smiley lady…

or this little girl…

This past summer I borrowed a friend’s car while house-sitting.  It had been close to three years since I’d driven, and I had to check the pedals and remind myself which one was the break and which was gas before I started the car.  I set the mirrors and turned off the music before I put the car in reverse, pulled out, and drove down the alley.  When I reached the street, I robotically turned on my signal like I was in driver’s ed.  I pulled out onto the road and felt like I was flying.  “Woah!  Woah,” I muttered, with my hands gripping the wheel at 10 and 2.  Paranoid of speeding past a cop, I glanced down at the speedometer and saw that I was driving a mere 27 MPH.  The former Anna-Lead-Foot driving under the speed limit?  Even I had to laugh at myself.

But deep down I was fine with the foreign feeling of driving.  I’d rather bike through the rain and dream of my next trip.

282 Comments

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282 responses to “50 Reasons I’m Grateful to be Car-less

  1. Alex Wade

    Anna,
    This is excellent. Truly well written an a very unique way of portraying our life from a bag mentality whilst abroad. I’m very amused and content to have met you and to call you a friend. Till the next time we cross paths!
    Enjoy!
    Alex

  2. Gail Grenier Sweet

    Wow. Really powerful. Love it! Thanks for posting it! It would make a great little book in itself!

  3. Edd Buumbacco

    You have a gift!

  4. magentmama

    I feel like I just went around the world, lovely pictures! What an interesting post. You know, here in Sicily people get a driving license practically as soon as they are born…in the sense that they cannot live without a car. In my family none of us drive yet manage to get around, the bus transport is very good here in Trapani, and there are trains, taxis, planes, ships…who needs a car. The air is so clean here because we are between two oceans so when I see all these cars I get upset because they are just polluting the air.

  5. One of the things I enjoyed so much about this is.. At first I thought there would be like three or so pictures, I started enjoying your post more and
    More as I scrolled down.
    Side note: is your picture of the sunrise and the temple both Angkor wat? Or was that temple elsewhere?

  6. I was just remarking to a friend–after linking him to this post, of course–that you inspire me to want to travel. I already don’t drive; perhaps once I get my health insurance sorted I could visit some of the places you’ve shown me. I am just awestruck at how beautiful (and in some cases, heart-breakingly sad) the world is.

    Thank you for sharing this with me, and the world. I’ll definitely be following your blog from here on out.

    Cheers <3

    • Not sure what country you’re from, but as an American who’s had health care experience in the U.S. as well as New Zealand and Korea, I can say that most places in the world are MUCH cheaper than home!

  7. Awesome photos!! :) And yes, I can totally see why you don’t feel you are missing out on anything by not having a car! Also, all the money you save on car insurance comes in handy for those travelling adventures! ;) Congrats in being Fp!

    • Thanks for reading! And yes! The savings on what I would have put into a car are incredible. From the small amount of time that I was a car owner I just remember paying for gas, fixing my alignment often (from hitting curbs…), and the insurance cost raising up and up. Now my life is less convenient, but more extraordinary!

  8. Great piece on the virtues of travel. I also pump most of my money into travel while cutting back on spending for things which many people would consider essential.

  9. Thanks for reminding me about these things!

  10. Great piece of writing. I haven’t driven in years and I don’t miss it a bit. There’s things I’ve done that I doubt I could have if I had chosen to feed a car.

    The bone church in Kutna Hora is great isn’t it? Kutna Hora itself is a fascinating place.

    • I LOOOVED it! While I was flying I watched a travel program about Prague and they showed the church of bones. I thought, ‘I have to go there!’ I stayed with friends in Prague and for the most part, they took me out, but they’d never been to Kutna Hora either, so we got to explore together!

      • I relocated to the Czech Republic from Canada in 2004 and have been to Kutna Hora twice.

        One of my favorite buildings in this country is St, Barbora’s church in the centre of Kutna Hora. French gothic is a very unusual architectural style to find in this country.

  11. Anna, that’s a great post. You’ve been to so many places I’d like to go too. But I’ll catch up :) I also don’t mind not spending money on some things while I am at home, but I like to be able to get away.

  12. What a lot of great memories!
    I’m not much of a traveller, but I’m also going car-free* to save money for the things I dream of.

    *I refuse to call myself car-less, because that implies I’m missing something. I’m not! I enjoy getting close and personal with the elements, even if it means being hot or freezing or wet, I enjoy interacting with people as I walk or use public transport, I enjoy having the time to notice the beauty of the world around me that I would miss while driving, from the little flower in a crack in the street to the mountains on the horizon.

  13. Brilliantly awesome :) Pics..

  14. The title caught me because I lived without a car for nealry 6 months after mine was stolen. I really wanted to live without one but with a toddler I found it too challenging. You are so right about the many things you would have not been able to do if you had invested in a car because paid for or not that cost a whole lot to support. From the words I just read and the pictures i just saw you obviously have made the right choice. I really enjoyed this.

  15. It is good that you are enjoy not having a car. One tends to appreciate much more things while biking or walking. I enjoy reflecting while walking. :)
    Anyway, you would enjoy European cities, where actually people are encouraged not to drive.

    • Yes to Europe! I would quite enjoy it! Even where I live now- downtown Milwaukee- it’s more convenient to not have a car! All the buses run by my house, and car owning here means expensive monthly rates, parking tickets, and towing.

  16. This is amazing, and I totally agree! Sold my car, moved abroad, and haven’t looked back since!

  17. Awesome post! Your pictures and words perfectly capture the liberating feeling of traveling light in exchange for seeing the world. Love it!

  18. Love this! I’m about to be 25 and have somehow managed without a car as well. Other things just seem more important right now. Glad to know I’m not the only one!! :-)

    • I’m shocked by the response to this blog post… I feel like the odd-ball most of the time because everyone I know drives, but through these comments I’ve realized that many many people live happily without cars as well!

  19. Vital Simplicity

    What a wonderful post. Thanks for the world tour! I’m also gloriously car-free, but TOTALLY behind you on the travel part, i.e. I’ve hardly been anywhere. You are an inspiration. Come to Bolivia if you haven’t already. You’d fit in beautifully.

    • I’d love to see Bolivia! I’m hoping to move to Argentina in about a year and a half to teach English (and work on my Spanish)… Bolivia is a hop, skip, and a jump away from there!

      • I’m in La Paz. Foods and views are stunning all in their own way and there’s always stuff going on. Lots of people who live in South America travel all over the continent, so you’ll be in good company here. Look me up! Wishing you ongoingly joyous travels.

  20. Marvellous photos. I never had a car when living in a city. But in the country it isn’t an option,Keep travelling.

  21. Sounds like car free agrees with you! Was Picasso’s art in person in Vienna your favorite part of your journey?

  22. Inspirational! I have been carless for a year now when I sold it to dive wih manta rays in the Maldives! Sooo liberating! Love your pics and stories! I am a wanderer of the world as well:). Look forward to hear more of your adventures!

  23. So true! People around me think I won’t live without having a car and constantly asking when I am going to convert my licence and get a car. I personally see it as another expenses, especially seeing hubby whine how expensive petrol, insurance and car services are.
    So long I have my legs, bike, public transportation and hubby to drive me around, I am fine not having one lol.

    Great writing and thanks for sharing :)

    • My mister used to have a car- now he’s carless too… he’s so much happier without the fender-benders and cost of parking and gas in his life… But back when he did drive, I loved getting rides beside him with all the windows rolled down!

    • I totally agree with the car-free life – gave mine away to my niece in need – but I would NEVER EVER give up my license unless I am unable to drive. This piece of paper is a possibility, a chance: when I NEED a car (and you never know where you might end up) I can just rent one or can buy one, if I need it for longer. Even on holidays I am glad, I can do the driving, since my cousin refuses to …
      Right now I am content walking, using public transport and taking my cats to the vet by taxi. Car-free is an option in Hannover, Germany.
      But I might have to move to some more rural place – and then I will be very happy when I just have to get a car and keep going. Car-free – yes, please, license-free – not for me.

      • I agree- keep the licence, get rid of the car! We live near a car rental place but have yet to rent one- possibly will have to this Christmas, so yes, a license is a good safety net!
        Pretty awesome that the cabs allow pets! I have no idea if that would fly here…

  24. Anna, I’ve always travelled vicariously through you. Thanks for posting all your pictures. You’re leading an extraordinary life. I’m so thankful our paths crossed. Also, I’m honored my car is featured in this post lol. Although after reading this I don’t think I want it anymore!

  25. Enjoyed! Great perspective, I can think of a lot of ‘lesses’ that can get you more…(travel that is)

  26. dimples101

    This post made me smile from ear to ear. :) Keep up the beautiful work

  27. I’ve been car-free for over last 30 years of my life so far. Yes, one is so much more closer and alive while on bike.

    One also can use money normally spent on car ownership and driving for other stuff:

    http://thirdwavecyclingblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/30-car-free-years-cycling-pumps-money-into-my-wallet/

    Other reasons too: a life that is less consumer oriented because one doesn’t have to bike all that bought weight up hills homeward!

  28. Car free equal cleaner air.Wow seeing you traveling to so many different country makes me want to travel. Love the scenery!

  29. A car just suck up so much money, and then there’s the maintenance time (cleaning, getting it serviced and repaired, paying its insurance and registration bills). I haven’t had one of these things living off me for some time now. For the infrequent occasions I need a car (eg taking my sewing machine to be repaired in an inconvenient suburban location) I use a car share scheme where the hourly cost covers everything, including gas and somebody else looks after the boring maintenance stuff.

    Walking most places means my knowledge of interesting little cafes and shops in the city amazes my friends, and I too save a lot of money for travelling, photography and other hobbies.

  30. This is great! Nice compilation of photos. So you got engaged in Korea, where did you get married? Or has that not happened yet?

  31. Beautiful. Great pictures! Very inspiring

  32. I hardly ever comment or like a blog that has made it to the freshly pressed spotlight (because the popularity has already caused it to be recognized,so why give it more) but in this case I have to – this is a BEAUTIFUL piece. Plus, it hits home. I was without a car for the first 18 months after my divorce – not by choice – and it was the hardest time of my life, but not because I was without wheels. While I can say that I was happy to be leaving a less harmful carbon footprint behind as I lived life on foot, I prayed for a car. For the record, walking to and from work, everyday – in all kinds of weather, sucked. At least it did for me. Then again I’m twice your age, with knees that need replacement and a heart condition that required emergency surgery in May. I walked back to work 5 days after surgery! I’m thankful that in September, I finally got a vehicle, but I will always in a weird way, treasure my days of solitude as I walked everywhere I needed to go. It definitely allowed time for reflection and meditation.

    • Well thank you for commenting on my piece! Being freshly pressed was a total surprise, and I’ve been having a writer’s high from all the comments and likes on this piece.
      Now- walking to and from work after surgery! Yikes! Glad that a car has eased your load- and you can always have meditational walks for pleasure rather than to get from a to b! I just got a dog, and realize that i’m adding more walks to my already walking lifestyle, but i think going in a circle will be far different than walking to work, to the grocery store, or to meet up with friends. We’ll see!

  33. This made me smile! Excellent!!

  34. Simple and moving. I drive a car only because I haul too much stuff (and my car serves as a locker).

  35. What wonderful reasons.. i don’t know know how to drive but i don’t feel i’m missing anything :d

  36. Yay! Good for you! I went without a car for 8 years and don’t regret it. Although I didn’t travel then, the money saved allowed me to go college and then graduate school. But now I travel and life is even better!

    • Being debt free is a treasure in itself! I’m sure your friends with cars and debt are jealous. Ps- is that a llama in your picture!?

      • Debt-free is a beautiful thing. I have had zero debt for 6 years. That is especially useful in this crappy economy of the past 4 years.

        Yes it’s a llama. From my trip to Ecuador last year. Funny to look at, good for hiking, and yummy to eat!

  37. I love to go places you can’t access with a car, even though I have a car and I love owning it. I’ve only had it for… eight months now, seeing as I’ve only had my license for six. I’m fine with the pedestrian life and any time I’m on vacation, I prefer it to spending time in a bus, metro, or car.

  38. disruptmyreverie

    Thanks for the goosebumps AND the lump in my throat.

  39. I totally enjoyed this tour around the world with your photos!! I didn’t miss you not having a car at all!! Great post!

  40. Wow! Such a world traveler, and true world citizen! What a blessing that you’ve been able to see so many parts of the world! How have you been able to afford such extensive travels? Besides not having a car of course :)… Any tips for others who have a passion for traveling?

    • save save save! I often had several jobs at once… Sometimes I’d dream of quitting one of them, but then I’d take a breath, imagine beaches and palm trees, and go back to work. For years I’d follow a routine- save up for a year, travel for a month, go home broke and start again. When I moved to Korea, the paid time off and holidays allowed for natural breaks in my schedule. I’d use those opportunities to explore southeast Asia little by little.

  41. Unless we are talking a new or a higher end car, I cannot see why you are not able to afford a simple car. Unless, you are against the idea of owning a car due to your lifestyle choice or your ego cannot see you in a cheap ride.
    In fact, I would suggest you to drive instead of riding a bike because a lot of fatal accidents that I hear in the news almost always concerns a biker. And finally, what an awesome post! I too wish to travel the world and follow in your footsteps. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m not saying I can’t afford a car, but I’m saying if I had one, I couldn’t afford my travels. Where I live, the cost of parking is about $100 each month. That doesn’t include gas, insurance, or repairs which all add up. Last May I kept track of every cent I spent on transportation- cabs and buses. It was too cold to bike so I was riding public transport and taking cabs frequently. I spent $115 that entire month. I spend much less when I bike- and I bike safely, as with the many other cyclists who are on the road. I also know many people who have been in car accidents, and only a few people who have been in cycling accidents, but they do happen. So no plans on getting rid of my bicycle anytime soon!

  42. Oh wow! I love all the beautiful pictures you shared with us! Youre truly blessed to have been immersed in all these cultures. Thanks again for sharing youre experience and yes i would be car less too for precious moments as these as well. :) Peace and Blessings

  43. sporadicblogger

    Where is the inspired button with this post?

  44. I’m almost 37 and have only owned one car in my life (and that only lasted a few years). I love, love, love not having a car. Today, my husband and I are a 1 car family and he uses it 98.5% of the time. It’s the best. I wish everyone would become car-free. It’s so liberating!

    • That’s awesome! I ride in a car about once a week now- when I go to a non-credit writing workshop. I carpool with a friend who lives near me and takes the class too, and nearly every time I ride with her, I fall asleep in the passenger seat! The rarity of the ride I get becomes just too relaxing to even keep my eyes open!

  45. Loved your post very much! And the pictures are very nice!Now I know where my next trip is going to be!

  46. Thank for this nice post. I really like it, especially the pictures about Cambodia.

  47. free penny press

    How awesome is this post.. pretty awesome.. if you ever have children and they want to know why Dad does not own a car, give him this link and watch their brain go to thinking and loving the idea of being car-less..”Oh the places you’ll go…”
    Much enjoyed this post!!

  48. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    Wonderful.

  49. Yes, these are all pretty valid reasons I’d say. The Korean penis park, i think, was the most valid ;)

  50. I’ve never owned a car, I live too close to the city and fantastic public transport to justify one. I rent and it’s an inconvenience. Wonderful post, I’ve only been abroad once so fantasising that some day I’ll get to experience all of that. And I just jumped on ebay to look for sperm earrings.

  51. Wow, what a great post, really inspiring :) Fantastic images, thanks for sharing :)

    Rohan.

  52. Awesome way to exhibit the wonderful times of one’s life !!!

  53. Very compelling reasons to ditch the car! Mine is still locked up in the garage – took the insurance off of it while traveling and am getting around on foot, bike and the good graces of my friends! Love the life you are living and the choices you are making! People are always asking me how I can afford to travel – decisions like yours are how it happens! Happy travels!

  54. lovely lovely lovely lovely! awesome! i love this. thanks for sharing :)

  55. really a wonderful read on a post black Friday.
    really wonderful.
    thank you
    Alexandra

    • The timing of Thanksgiving and me writing this post was a total coincidence, but after wordpress put me on freshly pressed, I realized the timing of being grateful/thankful was perfect! thanks for reading!

  56. beautiful photography, thank you for sharing!
    xx

    http://wattwewear.wordpress.com/

  57. This post is a beautiful catalog of your experiences. I am also car-less and I love to travel, so this is very encouraging!

    http://stepstochangetheworld.wordpress.com/

  58. herwhoisme

    Loved this post! It felt honest and humbling. And made me yearn to travel even more. Your point of all the things we miss out on while being complacent car drivers was well noted. It’s funny I wish to walk with pals to the market or post office and often times its me alone. I almost feel like here in the states we are too comfortable relying on a vehicle that we forget our legs can mobilize as well. Well again great post.

    • Thanks for your comment! I usually walk alone- but often with music. Lately I’ve been going without any tunes and have been just taking in the sounds around me. So much technology distracts us everyday!

  59. I can definitely relate to this…except for the part about not having a car! :-)

  60. That is a really powerful article and beautifully written.

  61. Melissa

    Reblogged this on made in the eighties and commented:
    Such a great post!! Selling my car is one of the things getting serious consideration for when I move downtown next year. I wont need it, and it will be $350 saved a month PLUS whatever I spend on maintenance a year. And we all know I love to travel!

  62. I have even more reasons: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/car-free-by-choice/ I gave up on cars 4 or 5 years ago and I have saved a lot of money since then. I have also had to plan my errands better which turned into useful organizational skills.

  63. What a wonderful, wonderful piece. I was very moved!

    I live almost completely carless – our family uses it once or twice a week, max – and I love it, even with the only reward being walking or biking to wherever I need to go, being outside and not in traffic, moving my body, etc, etc. But you have traded the minor inconveniences for a phenomenal richness of experience. I love how your calculations put such a high value on human connection and understanding. Wow.

    I’m not a big traveler, but a couple of years ago my husband and I did a road trip across the US which I blogged about. I different kind of experience – lots of hiking and getting out into nature – but it was also, most importantly, an errand of human-to-human connection. Check it out if you’d like.

  64. patrickjonasss

    Great piece of writing! I love all the beautiful pictures you shared with us! Youre truly blessed to have been immersed in all these cultures. you also depit free form gass. And Thanks again for sharing youre experience and yes i would be car less too for precious moments as these as well. :) Peace and Blessings

  65. Great writing/photos !! Loved it and loved the reminder of how a little sacrifice goes a long way.

  66. few carbon footprints too ;-)

  67. This is really well written and I want to travel like that, you’ve lived a dream life. How many people can say the same as you.

  68. What a great post reminding us all that the little things in life should be our daily gratitude.

  69. great piece of writing…I must say, If I had not been travel photographer, I would not have opened my travel agency; I would not have joined WordPress; I wouldn’t have clicked on freshly pressed feature and I wouldn’t have spotted this write-up!

    Liked the simplicity of your thought provoking blog!

    Regards,

    Sid
    Travel Photographer@ Cosmic Travel Hub (http://www.cosmictravelhub.com/)

  70. I can totally relate! I once went without a car for 12 years (from 1994 to 2006! I was lucky enough that I lived near mass transportation and didn’t need one. The health benefits were amazing. I never got sick. I was always in great shape (especially from lugging groceries home because I lived on a hill at the time). So awesome you traveled so much, I LOVE your pictures. For me, my thing is music, so with all that extra money I always treated myself to front row seats at concerts and going home in a town car, also brought a lot of designer clothes :)

  71. Reblogged this on The Official Site of Jordan Parker and commented:
    This woman has LIVED

  72. Doc

    Wonderful. Love how you express the joy you feel inside, but I must say that I’m a little jealous.something I’ve wanted to do since my early teens. I bought a car, and another. etc

  73. This is fabulous! If only more people would trade in their car, hell, trade in their mortgage, and experience life instead.

  74. Great post. I’m also car-less. Sometimes inconvenient, but satisfactory to me in general.

  75. What great experiences and pictures you’ve shared! I generally prefer and value experiences to material possessions and would LOVE to get rid of my car. For a while, I lived within 1/2 mile from my work and barely drove at all. Eventually, I ended up moving in with my boyfriend and now I have a commute that requires a car. I hope to move somewhere though that won’t require a vehicle all the time. While I don’t think I’d ever completely give up a car, I would love to significantly decrease my use.

    • Be happy you had that experience of walking to work- many people never experience that, and many people would drive, even if it was only 1/2 mile!

      • I know it! I think that’s totally crazy. I can see driving if it’s truly dangerous to go that 1/2 mile (like if you have to go on the highway), but other than that, people need to walk or move in general more!

  76. Makes driving really over rated…lol

  77. Those are very worthy reasons to not own a car. Nice post!

  78. This is remarkable ! Congratulations for not having a car and enjoying such a wonderful life instead :-)

  79. Totes worth not getting a car. Never thought of it that way. I kind of think of food in that way–> no food = more travel money…but I love food too much:)

  80. maymaylingling

    Awesome post. I also don’t drive, or even have even a license, and at 24 people just think I’m crazy or worse lazy. However, a car enslaves you and although it’s meant to give us freedom we all just end up stuck motionless on the freeway with anger or stress.. (in LA anyway.)

    Great of you to share your own reasons for not having a car :)

  81. pieronphotography

    What a wonderful journey you just took me through! :-)

  82. Great read. Seeing the world is a dream of mine that I hope to put into action soon. Such a mind-opening experience especially in regards to counting our blessings.

  83. nang Indonesia akeh tempat-tempat sing kaya kuwi…
    paling lucu ya sing numpak 75
    nice info :)
    [email]

  84. This is a wonderful post! I got a bit teary, recognising places I’ve been and places I want to travel to. Thank you for sharing!

    • Lovely to meet a fellow travel-bug! I didn’t label every place because I thought sometimes it’s just nice to look at the images around the world- but maybe you identified some of them anyway! Just awesome!

  85. While the rest of us speed through life, you stop and take the time to enjoy it. We could learn a lot from you!

  86. What a smart way to show us your travel pictures! Congrats on FP! Love your travel photos. Whether you have a car or not, does not matter at all. What matters is fulfilling your dream to travel around the world! Good luck! Keep traveling!

  87. Nice way to “frame” your photos. Good luck heading toward tour 20th anniversary of going “carless.”

  88. Thanks for this post! Looking out at the newly fallen snow here in Ontario, I wasn’t feeling very grateful to be car-free.

  89. Amen! Nice to meet another Milwaukeean biker! I gave up my car when we moved here almost four years ago. I had always wanted to live car-less and finally just made it happen. Bonus…I’m in the best shape of my life, I save tons of money, and I’m helping the environment. Win!

    Your experiences above are incredible. I am definitely jealous! I loved the way you showed the endless travel possibilities when not having your budget consumed by the cost of a car. I have always been on board with this notion.

    And, penis park in Korea, huh? Interesting. : )

    • That’s excellent! My bike recently got tagged “TNT” but the rain slowly washed the marker off. :p Hope Milwaukee treats you and your bike well!

      And the penis park was quite a trip. As soon as I heard of its existence, I knew I had to go!

  90. As one resourceful person to another, You Rock!

  91. amandaroederwrites

    Great post, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! I have not found a way to give up the car – I live just far enough outside of a major city that it doesn’t work for me. But I have given up lots of little luxuries that most people don’t realize are luxuries. I don’t have an expensive smartphone data plan. I rarely eat out. I wear my clothes until they are full of holes. And I go to Europe two or three times a year. SO worth it! :-)

    • I do understand about the city~ I grew up in a suburb and EVERYONE has cars there, but where I live it’s more inconvenient to have one! But wow, if you find enough small savings to get yourself to Europe several times a year, sounds like you’re doing something right!

  92. Beautifully written post…lovely Photographs…a very well deserved Freshly Pressed Post…Congratulations…

  93. I stopped driving in 2001 and have not looked back. Amazing what you see on foot and bike that you often miss when zooming down the highway. Kudos to you for how you have sincerely enjoyed the world around you via your own path!

  94. Make sure to come to Copenhagen as well, here you won’t feel like a weirdo when biking in the rain :-)

  95. Awesome! From an African that still drives a car!

  96. Oh my God!
    I had been worried about choosing a car to move from home to work, but with your post I totally change my mind! I’m seriously considering the bus.
    I also wanna travel for the rest of my life. Yout post is excellent. It would be nice to publish your advices or tips to save money, choose the best destination, flights, which cities to visit or any other details.
    I hope we cross paths somedays!
    Enjoy!

  97. MG

    I’m also car-free and your thoughtful and visual post had me thinking about the reasons I like it. My list would definitely be different as I’m much more of a homebody, but still, being car-free is pretty great.

  98. Amazing photos and congratulations for not owning a car. I wouldn’t be surprised if you go to the moon.

  99. winniebronze

    Reblogged this on winniebronze and commented:
    PROFOUND

  100. nagaman

    You r beautiful life.. Have a another blessed travelling.

  101. Sensational pictures. Dislike only two of them. Have ridden a bicycle since 1946 aged 6. Motor bike 1975-1982. Driven my sister’s car on a Learner plate a couple of times. Took lessons 1958. Went to Driving Test a day late and never bothered again. Cost of various, insurance, petrol, MOT, servicing, etc., is a mega off-putter. But time taken to find a place to park, then having to walk to, and back from, the place you want, is worst thing. In UK we have free bus travel for 60+ (ta to recent Labour Government) but I think Conservatives will be forced to cut it soon.

  102. PS: However… I adore looking at car styling, especially pre-1958 USA automobiles. You? Petersen’s Automotive Museum on Wilshire in LA is a big treat. National Motor Museum in Hampshire near here in Southern England is fun. Weird… I like cars standing still. Am I alone in this eccentricity/perversion?

  103. Obaid Akhlaq

    I’ve never read a freshly pressed article before, but this one hooked me. It was a blast to read this. The style…..the passion……..everything is beautiful. Love it.

  104. Amazing reasons to be car-less indeed! nice photos, is that the Banaue Rice Terraces from the Philippines ?

  105. Great post… wonderful photos…

  106. Awesome post! Not owning a car is also very good for the environment! +10 ecocred points for you!

  107. this is one of the best blogs that kicks the traveler within! Great write up!
    I hope to do this someday! :) Bon Voyage!

  108. Loved this post and I enjoyed reading it and looking at all these wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing :)

  109. Nice piece of writing. keep travelling

  110. Awesome post! I’m jealous, you’ve seen so much of the world. :) Down with cars, yay for bikes!

  111. We are so blessed and we forget too often. Great post thanks for sharing and congrats on FP!

  112. Amazing what you can experience if you are willing to set priorities and move forward. Beautiful!

  113. Beautiful! Now i feel like packing my bags and just travelling!

  114. Love your adventuresome spirit! . . . Thank you for making me smile!

    http://arabianmusings.wordpress.com/

  115. AH

    Some of these pics were taken in Kenya right?

  116. Beautiful memories created into reasons! Love it!

  117. Awesome post! I can’t go car-less since I live in Orlando and it’s not even a little bit pedestrian friendly but I’ve been trying to downgrade my car. Just to get a ratty little car that is paid off but gets me from point A to B and perhaps one I can put a mattress down in the back for cross country road trips. There’s no point in having a nice car if you have to have a car, in my opinion.

  118. Haha, thats awesome. Did you calculate how much money you safe when not owning a car?

    • No idea! I added up how much money I spent on transportation this past March- bus fare and cab costs all in the too-cold-to-bike weather, and I spent $115. That is just slightly more than what it would cost for a monthly parking spot where I live now, downtown Milwaukee!

  119. just reading through your responses Anna. They are aplenty and you have a lot in common with other travelers. Your approach was so genuine because the world has made you genuine. When someone meets a world traveler they right away notice they are different, changed and it is true in your case too. Wonderful to see your life in pictures.

  120. It’s so inspiring that you’ve traveled so many places! And have so many great photos to show for it!

  121. This nearly made me cry of envious!

  122. marycheshier

    Reblogged this on How 2 Be Green and commented:
    Great Post and writer

  123. If I’d been pouring my money into a vehicle I wouldn’t have been able to ride a scooter past fields of palm trees in Lombok, Indonesia. –> Yeah, nothing better than scootering here :) I’ve been 6 months being car-less, it really gives me an empty mind. I don’t have to worry about maintenance, parking, what if the car get bumped, etc. Being car-less also give me more chance to travel although not as much as you did.

  124. This is truly amazing. Everything that you have experienced is a dream of mine. All I want to do is travel and meet different people and experience new cultures. Your pictures are also beautiful!

    I am definitely jealous with the will power you have not to drive. I cannot even begin to calculate how much I spent within the last 4 years of me driving. Good for You!

  125. Yeah I never used a car while I lived in Madrid, Spain for 2 years. It always felt so weird when I came back home and had to use my car. I’m still not comfortable driving on highways and I absolutely hate driving, it stresses me out so much. Public transportation is so much easier!

  126. I grew up in the third world, and still haven’t learned how to drive – being car-less is beautiful! looks like you’ve had some amazing adventures – may you never own a vehicle if that’s what it takes to live like that. :)

  127. thesillyowl

    You have an incredible story~! I’m def following so I can read all about your travels. I love that you sacrificed one luxery for another selfless one. Beautiful pictures. Best of luck to you!!

  128. Pingback: My life without a car | Sustainable Sophisticate

  129. Fantastic, I went a number of years with no car, renting one or grabbing the train when I needed to get somewhere that I couldn’t on my bike, love the photos it shows a life well lived, good luck with your future travels.

  130. Fantastic, I went a number of years with no car, renting one or grabbing the train when I needed to get somewhere that I couldn’t on my bike, love the photos it shows a life well lived, good luck with your future travels.

  131. Reblogged this on Becca's Basic Blog and commented:
    I guess it isn’t too bad not having a car…

  132. Love this – most of the photos make me jealous & the Uganda ones make me miss it so bad! That photo of farrr too many people on a motorbike reminded me of my boda-boda trip with the driver and two friends… we ended up toppling over and having to walk home… :/ Katie x

  133. really envy you. this is GREAT!!!

  134. Pingback: [reblogged] 50 Reasons I’m Grateful to be Car-less | sc takes on the world

  135. Wow this is so cool, I love to travel, wish I could travel as many places as you ;-0

  136. the photographs added so much more to your simple and lovely post…leaves me yearning for a trip soon….

  137. You are great..
    I mean happiness from small packets..!!
    Loved your writing style..

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