Things I don’t like: driving

Welcome to a new feature: things I don’t like. Yeah, it doesn’t sound buoyantly positive, but let’s be honest, everyone has their likes and dislikes.

I just recently came to the realization that I don’t like driving. There are exceptions, of course. I don’t mind driving during vacation on a wide open expressway with a fun companion in my car, but how often does that happen? No, I really don’t like being in the driver’s seat of a car at all.

I grew up in the suburbs where it was essential that one have a car. Getting from home to a job, a movie theater, or a friend’s house, required a driver’s license and a car. In my mid-twenties I moved from the suburbs to the city and starting taking public transit to work every day, and taking care of most of my chores via walking. I loved it.

Considering the statistics about commuting via car in Chicago, I’m sure I’m not alone. One of my friends lives in the city but has to commute via car to her job in the suburbs. This reverse commute is pretty common in our area these days, but it’s also miserable.

Commuting is not the only hardship. Parking in Chicago can be very problematic and expensive. And then there are the red light cameras to contend with, too. It’s like driving has become a sport where it’s nearly impossible to win; it’s downright discouraging, to say the least.

So I take public transit a lot, and when the weather is good I ride my bike a lot, too. If I have to pick up a prescription, a library book, or a standard load of groceries, I prefer to do it by bike when the weather is favorable. If I had more flexibility in my schedule, I’d be happy to do many of these tasks just by walking. But for many months out of the year, that’s a challenge here in the cold north.

Even though I continue to live in the city, there are certainly times when it is useful to have a car. My parents and some of my friends still live in the suburbs and it would be hard to live without a car for that reason alone. When loading up on groceries and heavier essentials (such as laundry detergent and lots of food in cans), using a car is very convenient. So I do have a car and I do drive it. But it’s a dreaded chore.

One thing I am glad for is that my guy doesn’t seem to mind driving. So when there are chores that require driving, I’m happy to schedule those for times when he’s available to occupy the driver’s seat.

How do you feel about driving? Do you like it in general, or only under certain circumstances?

3 thoughts on “Things I don’t like: driving

  1. Pingback: Things I don’t like: health insurance « a windycitygal's Weblog

  2. I found your post via a Google search for folks who, like me, don’t like driving.

    I hear ya. I totally hear ya. Like you, I’m glad that I have a significant other who doesn’t mind driving.

    I almost never enjoy driving. I can deal with it on an occasional basis, especially if the trip is fairly straightforward, is less than about 20 minutes, is not at night, and does not involve any high-traffic areas. If the area is scenic, that’s a plus. But if it’s too scenic, I’d rather be in the passenger seat, or walking, or biking, so that I can really enjoy the scenery. (But I also don’t like sitting in the backseat, so…)

    I have spent most of my life in New York City, with summers in the Netherlands (mostly Rotterdam and Amsterdam). I am so much happier walking and taking public transportation than driving.

    It’s a good thing that I’m very happy living in one of the few cities in the U.S. that is very walkable and has good public transportation. It’s very odd: I’ve made peace with the cost of housing in New York, but I’d totally resent it if I lived elsewhere and had to pay for a car and its associated expenses. (Why should I pay $500-$600+ a month to do something I don’t even like?)


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