Simply Car Free {Simply Living Blog Carnival}

Welcome to the June edition of the Simply Living Blog CarnivalAround the House co-hosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about what we do to keep the little things from overwhelming us. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.

Simple Living: Car Free It’s been a year. A year since we sold our sweet little Toyota Yaris, and committed ourselves to the hands of Toronto’s public transit system (TTC).

To be honest, I wasn’t keen on buying a car when we moved back from Brussels, but I saw the sense in taking advantage of our privilege to be able to plunk down the cash for a smallish eco-friendly car. Aodhan was still a very little guy and getting things like grocery shopping done on my own was tough enough – even with the car. I appreciated the ability to get to my parent’s house , an hour away, after my first year of parenting in an expat vacuum. The ease of being able to hop in the car and speed off for a hike or quick little weekend getaway kept us from selling the wheels that weren’t sitting so well with our family rhythm of not living with more than what we needed.

Last year, as we prepared to downsize our life, I tossed out the notion of getting rid of our car and within a month we were meeting prospective buyers and scheduling test-drives. We most certainly didn’t make as much money as we could have, but we wanted rid of it as quickly as possible and had it sold a week after putting it up for sale (we used kijiji and craigslist).

After a year of car-free living in a major urban centre, we are thrilled with our decision. We have rented a car for a couple of vacations, and during a family visit from the UK. My lovely parents have kindly helped us with big shipments of kitty litter, and the occasional trip to Ikea. When we have needed emergency transportation, like trips to the vet, or when Aodhan suffered from his first (and horrific) ear infection, we simply rang a taxi.

We have saved a significant amount of money in car insurance, fuel and maintenance. Of course, living in Toronto, paying for public transport isn’t inexpensive, but it doesn’t come anywhere near to the cost of living with a car.

I love that we have increased our family exercise time. When I hit the gym or go for a run, that is something that I do on my own. However, in having given up the car, we find ourselves walking for miles as a family (though, Aodhan is getting a little big even for his daddy’s shoulders!).

Our own personal rhythm works wonderfully without a vehicle, as neither of us are commuting a great distance, we live just slightly west of the city centre, and we are pretty focused on our quiet family life. Obviously, this isn’t going to work for every family and there are certainly multiple ways to decrease vehicle usage, without ditching your wheels.

Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival co-hosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple ideas around their homes. We hope you will join us next month!


(photo credit)

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