(Car)e-free Lifestyle

I’m at a point in my life where I am faced with an above average amount of free time to myself. I am in between schools, I work nights, and four days out of the week at most. While everyone is off working their Monday through Friday jobs, I have most of the day to myself even if I have work that evening. If you were to ask me would I go back to the way things were at my previous job position and school schedule, I would probably say no.

These freedoms have presented a lot of opportunities for me to grow in a non-formal academic setting. I can come and go as I please, listen to my podcasts, read a lot of books, and ride bikes all day. I recently to a trip to La Jolla in between work days. Before I decided to go on this recent trip, I loaned mama my car so she could take her kids on their first San Diego experience. Ever since I finished the prerequisites for my major, and turned in applications for nursing programs, I’ve been thinking about what the best way to make use of all this time I have would be. I began reading more books, listening to the radio and podcasts, and with this new opportunity want to give going car-free a shot.

If all I had to do was to go to work (and presumably the school I wish to attend) I would say I drive about once a week. Everything around me is within bike riding distance and I have most of the stuff to take extended trips and to carry more things than what a conventional messenger bag allows. Since I am not racing bikes at the moment, not only do I save on gas and registration fees, but I can (and will be) expand my bike collection.

Right now I just have my nice road bike that I used for racing. It has devolved to my all-around, everyday bike. The commuter, the grocery getter, and the race bike when that time comes. The next bike on my list is to own a track bike. Without going into a long philosophical rant about fixed gear culture and the way I see things, I am very excited for this new addition. I have multiple plans for this bike, mainly to be my new commuter. If you saw the bike, you would think it’s main functional purpose would be strictly for the velodrome and this is arguably true. However just like the team machine I want the versatility of the road bike, but the convenience of a bike without a cassette, derailleurs, or brakes. I will try and keep everyone posted on the progress of the build. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I will be rolling by next month. Way before my birthday of June 25th.

This new addition with my car not physically nearby is presenting an opportunity to go back to a lifestyle I lived a few years ago. Long story short, mama needed a car, and I was driving mainly for the convenience of owning a car. Not because I had to cross mountains to get to my job or apply for one, not because I had kids that needed to be transported in car seats. I was driving because it got cold in the mornings, and I didn’t want to change my clothes all the time once I got to where I was going.

So here I am now. I live within ten miles from work, less than twenty from my desired school, no significant other, and no real obligations. Riding everywhere keeps me punctual and teaches what little discipline I have. I am always early for work and make it to functions with enough time to change or freshen up in whatever Starbucks or gas station restroom I can find. Mama could probably use the car more than I do since she has two little ones to take care of, although she lives relatively close to her job, local grocery store, and schools her kids go to. Driving in Santa Monica, like most major metropolitan areas can be a total drag and can prove the justification of a vehicle purchase wrong. Lord knows I wouldn’t own a car if I lived there.

New short term goals

  • Build up track bike
  • Prolong the return of my car to my house as long as I can
  • Read a new book
  • Ride track bike more than my road bike
  • Buy less pre-made meals
  • Buy more raw ingredients that the pre-made meals have and DIY

If I had to summarize what my goals are for this next stretch of time, it would be to become a more well-rounded human being (what with the exception of not owning a car and continuing the vegan lifestyle.) Perhaps this sense of feeling more whole will help with the emotional issues I have and make me more outgoing. Okay I made that last part up about me wanting to be more outgoing. I know I’m not going to change that & I identify with my introvertive side on an intimate level.

The nomad lifestyle looks promising and enjoyable. Leaving an open slate to do whatever comes to mind has it’s many perks. Perks in which will lead to a more developed outlook and approach to the world around me. So without further adieu….

-dfj

 

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