Re-Learning to Drive


I’ve lived in Boston for over 13 years. During those years, I’ve probably gotten behind the wheel of a car 13 times.

Mostly, I love not being a driver. Being car-free brings many of the same benefits as being childfree. Fewer complications. Fewer expenses. As a non-driver, I don’t need to worry about excise taxes, car payments, the price of gas, or parking.

But there’s one thing about not driving that’s started to bother me: the lack of independence. All too often, I wind up sitting in the back seat of a friend’s car–or, worse, my parents’ car–feeling like an eleven-year-old. And I have to coordinate my schedule with Boston’s mass transit system.

I’m a fearful driver, and I don’t want to be. So I joined Zipcar about six months ago and started practicing. Boston is a tough place to ease back into driving, but as some friends have told me, if I can feel confident driving here, anywhere else will be a breeze.

Today I’m making my first foray onto the highway in a while, heading down to Providence for lunch. I’ll let you know how it goes!

4 thoughts on “Re-Learning to Drive

  1. Wooo hooo! Yes, I agree that Boston can be a scary place to relearn how to drive! I’m nervous and worried about you! But like your friend said, if you can drive there, you’ll be fine everywhere else!!

  2. You are brave to relearn in the city! I had my license at 17 but it wasn’t until I graduated college that I drove regularly. My profession and lifestyle now require that I own a car but I can’t say I’m always a confident driver. I’ve learned to regularly negotiate 40 miles of dirt roads in snow and rain and when to use 4wheel drive. I’ve learned the freedom of not relying on someone else to take you someplace. I’ve learned that a trip of 160 miles one way can be a day trip. It does get easier as you gain confidence. I do sometime yearn for my car free days and will happily ditch the car for public transportation. Having the choice = more freedom.

    • Cindy, I am so impressed at your dirt-road driving prowess! I am sooooo far from that point–but maybe someday. It is exciting to be able to go so far so fast, but it also terrifies me how easy it is to have a moment of panic or space out and cause an accident. But yes, absolutely, freedom is the bottom line!

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