I remember around the time I turned seventeen, a great deal of excitement on the part of most of my friends; they couldn't wait to learn to drive, they were thrilled to receive driving lessons for their birthdays, they were talking about parallel parking and clutch control... and I couldn't care less. I didn't have that thing that made me want to learn to drive - frankly, the idea terrified me, and I simply didn't want to do it. In fact, I didn't have my first lesson until three weeks before my 23rd birthday, and I finally passed my test just over a year ago. Looking back, I wish I'd done it much sooner; these are just a few reasons why becoming a car owner is one of the best things I could have done.
This is a key one, really - I live in a really rural area; the "local" bus stop is well over a mile away, and the buses are so infrequent that it's generally not worth bothering. It's amazing having my own car and just being able to get in it and drive to wherever I want/need to be - without having to bargain with my parents to give me a lift or pick me up from somewhere. Does anyone else name their cars? Mine is Percy the Polo and I love him to bits, although he could do with a bit of a wash...
Previously, I was spending four or more hours per day on public transport to get to and from work, and had to depend on my mum dropping me off and picking me up from the nearest town which is five miles from home; I couldn't get home at all on a Sunday as the buses didn't run late enough. Now, I spend not much more than an hour per day commuting! Those three extra hours per day have made such a difference for me - I've been able to spend more time working on my blog, for example, and I've been spending some of the extra time at the gym, too.
Job-Hunting Is Way Easier
It's unbelievable how many jobs I want to apply for require you to have a driving license and your own car. Obviously this hasn't helped me much yet as I still haven't got a full-time Psychology job, but it's definitely increased the ones I can apply for, which is a good start. I am actually driving for work in my part-time temp job, which I wouldn't have been able to accept if I didn't drive.
I can make my own in-car music choices now! I have a CD-changer in my car (I swear it's witchcraft. I have no idea how it works) which has allowed me to resurrect a load of amazing albums from my teenage years. I'm now spending a good 80% of my driving time singing along to Good Charlotte, Marilyn Manson and Placebo circa 2006 and it is beautiful. I also have a bit of a thing for BBC Radio Cymru if I've had a stressful shift at work - I don't speak a word of Welsh but I find it so soothing... Just me?!
This is Gir. He was a gift. You might not be familiar with Gir; he's from the cartoon Invader Zim (click here to see him sing The Doom Song which is mostly why I love him!). This is the sort of gift that previously would have ended up in a box somewhere or gathering dust on a shelf. Now, though, I've been able to modify him with a bit of elastic and a suction cup, and he lives happily in my car, giving it a little bit of personality!
Bonus: An Excuse For Having No Money
Do you drive? Did you learn as soon as you could, or did you put it off for ages like me? I'd love to know how confident you are in maintaining your car! If you're an engine whiz or something please come teach me your ways...
[*Collaborative post. Written by me.]