If you follow this blog, as all 16 of you do, you’ll know that I write about a range of topics. But, I wanted you to also get to know me and about my life. So, I thought I would share something with you. I’m nearly 22 and don’t have a driver’s license and I’ll tell you why.
In Western society, and Australia in particular, driving is seen as this ‘right of passage’ and if you don’t drive you haven’t truly grown up yet. If I mention to someone that I don’t drive a car, I’ll sometimes get a look from them as if to say ‘What’s wrong with you?’. I’ve also been asked things like “How do you survive?” “How do you go out?” “If you don’t have a car, then how do you enjoy life?” I find those notions and questions absolutely ridiculous. Being able to drive has nothing to do with my maturity, ability to look after myself and my ability to enjoy life. Not to bash people who drive regularly, but I think once people start they forget that there are other ways to travel. People become reliant on these metal boxes with wheels that deprive them of the chance to experience the world and the people around them
I don’t know how many times I’ve missed a bus or train. Sure, it’s annoying, but it also allows you to have a new experience. Depending on where you are you can go and find something to do, find somewhere new, walk a different way or talk to someone who would have never met otherwise. Taking public transport gives you skills too. I have learned to be more patient, resilient and street wise on my hundreds of travels. I can also go places alone, which is something I’ve noticed that some people struggle with. I can put my headphones on, and it gives me a chance to decompress from my day. It’s relaxing just going with the flow, rather than thinking about driving. Not driving is also great for the environment, and I feel good about not polluting the world as much.
Not to mention that fact that driving is expensive and stressful! Being afraid is a big reason why I didn’t start learning until now.
Don’t get me wrong, driving has a lot of good points. I’m actually learning to drive now because I’ve reached a point in my life where I need a car. Not so much for me, but for my family. But, I think that I could have gone a lot longer without driving and it would have suited me fine. A car is the ultimate symbol of individualism, and I think people should rely on them a little less and explore the world a little more.