Quote of the Day

The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.

– Thich Nhat Hanh –

I have been walking for more than 45 years

In the past friends and family had been after me to get my driver’s license. New friends acted surprised to hear I live without a car, but yet I have so much fun. I have a big network, and I am always out in my free time – on foot.

I learned how to drive while I lived in the States and also got my driver’s license for $12.50. I guess my driving was not really worth more than that anyway. My husband had to teach me and I remember my mother-in-law’s warning that even the best of marriages end up in divorce after driving lessons from the spouse. We survived this trying time…

Later on I even taught a young Japanese girl how to drive near our farm where we only used deserted country roads. For the best of me I could not figure out why she always swerved to the left side of the road while driving. Ignorant as I was, I did not know there was left-side traffic in Japan. And she did not know enough English to tell me about it. We survived that one, too. As a matter of fact, she outgrew me when years later she traveled by car from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States.

Even though I traveled on the busy highway East 140 towards Baltimore every morning to get to my job in Finksburg, I did not become a very experienced driver during that year. And most of all – I did not enjoy driving.

When we moved to Germany, we ended up in a very convenient location with daily necessities such as bank, supermarket, kindergarten, school, train station, bus station etc. – all in walking distance. Why would I need a car? My friends would argue that I might need one in case of an emergency –

Is that so? Then I would call the ambulance for € 20 or a taxi for € 40. This is still a lot cheaper than the purchase of a car, maintenance, gas, and insurance premiums.

Now I am even happier for not having followed my friends’ unsolicited advice. Why put more cars on the road with the current status of energy? One of my friends bought an ethanol driven car, which seemed to be more environmentally conscientious. Based on this article The Clean Energy Scam in TIME magazine, though, all this could be some kind of humbug.

I’d rather keep on walking – it is good exercise, free of charge, good for the environment, and more sociable. I get to see things I would miss while driving. I get to talk to people instead of just waving at them through the window. And lots of walking is good for the shoe industry. Knock on wood – so far I have never caused an accident as a pedestrian, either. I love the freedom of walking and not having to rely on a car.

Public transportation is around the corner and if need be I take the U-Bahn (train).

From the time I learned to walk, I have been on my feet – except for this one year in the U.S.A. This totals more than 45 years.

How long have you been walking?