A question I often get asked is have you thought about getting your driving licence? My usual reply is yeah, I should probably get one. It would make life so much easier, but it costs so much money!
I think that soon my inability to drive will no longer be the endearing trait of someone who has grown up in well connected, urban areas and been perfectly happy to use public transport. I think it will become a bit of a nuisance, if it hasn’t already. Whenever need to move something big, get somewhere at an unsociable hour, or somewhere so remote there is not even a bus (surely if public transport won’t go there, it can’t be that good!), I will either have to get pretty creative about how to get there or sidle up to someone with a car and ask nicely for a lift.
I remember when I was 17 and people were starting to learn. I thought I was pretty cool for not bothering. I could save my money for university and I was being kinder to the environment. Besides, I was not going to need a car for university, I didn’t need to drive for ages.
I managed to keep up this smug attitude until I finished university and was shocked to discover that not everywhere is accessible by train or bus. Applying for jobs was accompanied by doing a google maps search of where the place was so I could work out how to get to the interview. If I was getting ahead of myself I’d try to work out where I could live so the commute was not too ridiculous.
Admittedly, I think I would still prefer public transport even if I could drive. I like being able to read, write, have a drink and not be terrified of falling asleep. However, this whole not driving thing does occasionally make me feel a bit immature.
My poor mother has done many trips in her car from her house to the flat in order to properly move me out. Friends who drive have decided not to have a drink at the pub and offered me a lift while I have happily had a few drinks and avoided forking out for a taxi.
There is a lot of independence and freedom that comes with being able to drive that I am not sure I will be able to get away with not having for much longer.
I’ll probably keep trying though, do you know how expensive it is to learn!?