Getting Our Daily Driver Back

20160929_145759_resizedI have a 2013 Honda Fit. It was the first car I ever purchased (all on my little lonesome) and the first new car I’ve ever owned. I love it.

When we moved from Florida to Texas we were originally planning on towing the Honda with us. However, we weren’t able to get the hitch installed until 2 days before we left Florida and that gave us almost no time to also get the tow bar installed on the Honda and figure out how to drive a 35 foot bus with an extra 15 foot car swinging around behind it. We decided to leave the Honda behind and come back to get it a few weeks later.

Mike really wanted to sell the car and just have the bus. It would save us all the money that we pay on the car payment and insurance and we are on a very tight budget so that would give us a lot of wiggle room per month. The Honda is worth more than I owe on it and we could use that extra money to fund a through-hike on the Appalachian Trail (one of my big dreams in life). That’s a few very big pluses for getting rid of the car. I agreed to try the car-less life out for the month-ish it’d still be in Florida.

Now, I’m fine with not having a car. I would prefer to not have one. But. We moved to an area in Texas that has no (and I mean ZERO) public transportation. They think  it will “bring in the homeless people.” At least, that’s what I was told was the reasoning for the surprising lack of public transportation in a fairly big city. There is no biking or pedestrian community here. The sidewalks are either nonexistent or terrible (seriously, who designs a sidewalk where when you reach the entrance to a business it doesn’t taper down to cross the road but just ends with a huge curb?) and the drivers are downright horrifying. Mike almost got clipped within a week of being here and he only has 2 miles to go to get to work. This isn’t like Europe where there are corner markets everywhere, the nearest grocery store is a little over a mile away and walking a mile in the Texas heat lugging all your groceries back sucks butt. I felt isolated in the bus because frankly, walking around by myself was not something that I felt totally comfortable with. Some of that I’m sure has to do with societal pressures (it’s not safe for ladies to go walking all over the place- that’s how you get raped and murdered, etc., etc.) and some of it is, again, those drivers- no one is watching out for pedestrians.

Once we leave here maybe we’ll end up in a place that is way more pedestrian friendly. Because that would be awesome. But for now, I wanted my car back. I wanted to go to the grocery store without it taking 2-3 hours. I wanted to go out with our friends without having to bum a ride every time or pay an Uber (Uber here does very well so at least we’ve got that going for us). We don’t exactly want to take our bus everywhere- one of us needs to stay with Finn, he barks like mad being left in a strange parking lot and we might get the cops called on us. What if Finn needs to go to the vet right away? What if we need to get somewhere quickly in an emergency? How do we get the occasional large purchase back to the bus? There’s Uber but that adds up quickly.  I was just not prepared to make that leap.

We are considering trading the Honda down and getting something used and cheap which would end the monthly car payments. But I also don’t want to end up in a situation where we unknowingly buy a lemon (like my first car, a beautiful but mechanically terrible El Camino, SO MUCH money went into that thing before we finally just donated it) where we end up having to dump a ton of money into and end up paying more than we would have just paying off the Honda.

The Honda, and the car situation as a whole, is still a point of discussion in the Asphalt Nomads household. But for now, we have our daily driver back. And man, has it been nice. So convenient!

Further Reading: Getting Our Daily Driver Back Part 2: My (Katy’s) 1st Ever Solo Road Trip.

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