I rarely used public transportation. In the US, I drove cars 99% of my time. On occasion, I road metro. So selling my car required a plan. In the past few years I would dream of having a bike to move around Dubai. That dream would quickly shatter when I thought of the lack of respect some insane car drivers had for bikes and, oh yes, THE WEATHER in the summer months!
A year ago, a metro stop opened within two steps of my building. That happened the same time age began to show on my 7 year old car. The car needed the garage often; I had the feeling I spent more time catering to the car than it catered for me. I rationalized my decision:
- my children are older and independent,
- metro is across the street,
- I need to walk more often,
- many people live in Dubai without cars,
- if I cannot stand the transition, I can always buy a car
- I will have a lower carbon footprint and lessen my impact on the environment
The ad went on, and within a few weeks, I had someone asking for it at a reasonable price. That was three months ago. Here’s how my life has changed:
- I plan my trips and outings more carefully,
- I spend less time in parking lots searching for an empty space, or searching for my car!
- no more standing in lines at gas stations waiting to fill up and pay for SALIK
- I read books on metro and in cabs
- I enjoy zooming past heavy traffic in the morning and late afternoons
- I became more efficient in grocery shopping. One trip a week, with a list!
- during good weather, I walked from metro stations to my destination, enjoying the scenery and clearing my thoughts.
- I no longer spend 30 minutes searching for my car keys,
- I realized how many people ride metro and enjoy the occasional mental analysis of where they come from and what their life stories are.. I feel more connected to society than I had ever been.
From a cost perspective, I save on maintenance and SALIK fees. I spend the equivalent of the gas fees on taxis.
I am a realist.. I haven’t ruled out going back to a car, should circumstances dictate it. However, for the time being, I’m enjoying a new found sense of freedom.