I wish I could reduce my dependency on a car. Not to be environmentally conscious, although that’s nice and all. Not to get more exercise, even though that would certainly be a perk. No, I just really hate driving.
The longest I ever went without driving at all, or very minimally, was about a period of about 7-10 years (most of the 1990s, off and on) during and immediately following college. I didn’t have access to a car for most of that time, so it was not even an option. I walked everywhere that was feasible and took the bus when I needed to. I bummed a few rides from friends here and there. Some things were more difficult (grocery shopping comes to mind) but mostly it was fine. Really. I survived for several years as an adult who didn’t own a car and lived to tell about it.
It probably doesn’t help that I currently live in southern Italy, the epitome of driving at its worse. From the lack of directions on road signs (Seriously, how hard is it to print the word “north”?) to the sidewalk-sized travel lanes, to the “I’m the only one on the road” mentality of most drivers here . . . it’s just inexplicable. And don’t even get me started on road conditions; my poor Diego takes so much abuse. (Yes; my car has a name.) For a humorous, albeit true, take on things, check out Wikinapoli's Driving in Italy, especially the sections on “Italian Drivers: How to Understand and Manage” (Oh, how I love this title!) and “Parking.”
For me, driving is a necessary evil. Without it I couldn’t get the girls to school, which they love, or run errands nearly as easily. But I really hate it. (Have I mentioned that I hate driving?) When we go somewhere as a family, my husband always drives, even on long road trips. I know I wasn’t always like this . . . I’m sure in the first few years after earning my driver’s license I loved driving everywhere I could. But that was a long time ago, and the novelty has worn off, to say the least.