My car is in the shop, Christmas is a week away, and I live in the Portuguese countryside 17 kilometers from the nearest town.
No, it has been liberating.
Instead of going food shopping in town alone, I did it with a friend. Afterwards, I bought her and her partner a drink. In exchange for a trip to a city shopping center, I invited our friends to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” I also invited friends to a Christmas lunch at a restaurant near the town, where we will be running a few errands.
If I had my car, these social outings would not have happened at all. I would have felt as if I were infringing into my friends’ busy lives.
A car provides independence, but independence also can lead to isolation. I am thankful for not having a car, temporarily, and enjoying the holiday season.