…and chocolate for energy

Back when I was considering going car-free, I feared that becoming a bus chick would also cause me to become a homebody. I knew I could get to work and to my regular haunts on the bus, but what about a party in Renton on Saturday night, or a reading at an obscure bookshop in Ballard? I worried that I would decide events like these were not worth the trouble and give up the active life I had grown used to.

I am happy to report that, three years into this experiment, my life is as active as ever. This is largely thanks to:

1) Metro’s Trip Planner. All I have to know is where I am and where I’m going, and Trip Planner does the rest.
2) Flexcar. I rent a Flexcar only about once every other month, but when I use it, I need it. (Sometimes, you just can’t get there on the bus.) If I didn’t have the option of borrowing a car from time to time, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to try living without one.
3) A bus pal. My fiancé, Adam, is also car-free. Having a partner to wait with on those cold, late-night, and out-of-the-way excursions makes all the difference.
4) Bus ruts. I tend to ride the same routes over and over. After too many weeks of this, I get bored and look forward to any excuse to try a new number.

On Sunday, armed with my bus pal, a laptop, and an itch to get out of a longer-than-normal bus rut, I went from my home in the Central District to church (also in the Central District) to the University District to run an errand, then downtown to run another errand, and finally, to West Seattle to visit my family. That’s at least as much as an average person accomplishes on an average Sunday, but I got exercise and talked to strangers and felt the sun on my face, and I didn’t have to fight traffic or pay for parking.

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