I’m totally ok not having a car: Reflections on a spontaneous road trip

4 Nov 2017 sweden

Lina + I don’t have a car. And most days that’s totally ok. Some days, however, I long for the convenience and freedom that I feel when I live in the US. But, all in all, I’m perfectly happy walking + taking public transportation everywhere. Actually, I really really love it. I mean, it’s good for me + good for the world. So, it’s totally win-win.

Buuuuut. After growing up and driving around for about 35 years non-stop, there are just those days that I miss that feeling of freedom. That feeling of waking up in the morning + suddenly deciding to take a road trip – without any plans or destinations or expectations. My parents taught me all about those kinds of weekends, often waking me up, telling me to pack whatever I wanted for a road trip, reminding me to grab a pillow and my Sony walkman, and then asking me to help make a few snacks for the road: Cheez-its, grapes, crackers, carrots, celery, juice boxes, chips. And, then, we were off. Possibly coming back the same day, possibly rolling in around midnight on Sunday night before school + work the next day.

It was serious, serious spontaneous freedom. Out on the road. Exploring, stopping wherever and all the time (which drove me crazy back then). Looking at every single freaking historical site along the way. And, while I loathed the fact that it took forever to get somewhere, I never really realized back then that we never really even had a destination. It was all about the journey. Making turns onto random roads and changing our minds all along the way. It was true adventure, exploration, and travel for the sake of experiencing.

Because I grew up like that, I became like that. And, when we lived in the States, Lina and I hopped in the car, unafraid to drive 3 hours one way just for the day. Or 8 hours just to go to the beach for a couple of days. Or just to grab a coffee to go + then drive up in the mountains or around neighborhoods, gazing at houses and people and sights.

So, while most days I’m totally fine with not having a car, some days I just really want one. Still it’s a decision that this family has made to not have one right now. It’s not necessary. And yet, one day, because we both want one, we will break down + get one.

Until then, we rely on our feet and buses and trains.

However, sometimes we luck out + have access to car… which has totally happened this weekend. Wooooo. 

Lina’s parents have taken a trip for a week and so we offered to take care of their car while they were gone – instead of them having to park + pay at the airport. Wasn’t that super nice of us?! Hehe. In any case, they were more than happy to lend us the car for the week, so we’ve got it for 7 whole days!

Of course, we’re free this weekend, but then it’s back to regular schedule next week, so I don’t know how much we will use it after this weekend, but, still, the possibilities are endless!

So, we took the bus out the morning to the airport, hugged Lina’s parents and waved them off to Cyprus (lucky dogs), and then hopped in the car. All I can say is that the feeling was total + absolute freedom.

We headed straight to an ecological, organic store that was somewhere just outside of Uppsala. It’s a place that we’ve been talking about for ages, and have just been too lazy to spend the money and planning time to take a bus out there. On the way there, we passed a big hill surrounded by trees. We were immediately intrigued and decided to stop there after exploring the store.

We drove on past and ended up in a little village that had a few houses and villas and a building in the middle. The building was square with a courtyard in the middle, so we walked through a door in the front, across a short hall, and out a backdoor into the courtyard. There, we saw the outside of the little store. But, it wasn’t little at all!

This place was eco, organic, earth friendly product heaven! Chocolates, tea, health + beauty items, food, coffee, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, ev-er-y-thing. We wandered and laughed and discussed and chose a few items to bring home with us. The entire place was like a little community, the store, the courtyard, the coffehouse. Nothing about it was hip or trendy or cool. It was pure freaking authentic vintage hippie stuff. Real shit, y’all. Not stuff made to look old or cool.

We fell in love + discovered that the bus stop is right outside, so it’ll be easy to return. And tough on our wallets. Haha.

 

 

We gathered our purchases + headed to the car to drive back to the big mound hill thingy. Turns out, it’s a nature reserve that sits right on top of what used to be the ocean…. 10,000 years ago. The mound was the first island part to pop up out of the sea and during the Bronze Age, was constructed into a burial mound. So, this hill that we saw, is actually a big ass historical deal.

We got out of the car and took off straight for the mound, ready to climb it and gaze out over the flat lands all around it. We discussed how some of the trees + stones made it look like the knoll in Outlander, where one can be transported back in time by touching one of the stones. We climbed and walked and soon found ourselves on top of the mound. A 360 degree view all around. Wind whipping, my hands freezing. It was magical.

 

 

 

 

We hung out for just a short while, and then walked down to the car, promising to return and explore the entire nature reserve. There are trails and other sights to see all through the woods and across fields.

 

Back in the car, we took off for some errands and a trip to a mall outside the city. We had lunch and then window-shopped, getting more + more in the holiday spirit as each moment passed. But, we didn’t buy things. It was just good to be out and about and choosing what we wanted to do from minuet to minute.

The sun started setting in the mid-afternoon and we returned home. To clean, drink tea, and relax. What a perfectly simply, spontaneous day it has been. And, yes, I want a car badly. But, at the same time, just having one for a few days + then giving it back makes it all the more special. I really do enjoy my slow life. I enjoy staying mindful + aware + keeping the magic in the gift of spontaneity. Besides, adventure + freedom are really all found within. No need to constantly be on the move to experience them both.

So, you know what? I’ll stick to my feet, thank you. But, after this week, if that’s ok.

 

xoxo. liz.

 

2 comments

  1. Meghan says:

    That would seem to be the perfect day. What a treat to get out and do some exploring, following the open road. I’ve been craving just that sort of thing so it was so nice to tag along on your instastory. (Also, I really want to go see those mounds!!) xx

    • Liz says:

      Gaaah. Just remembered your question. Yes! Burial mounds! It’s just so interesting – and there is so much more to see. I’ve got to go back and wander in the forest. xoxo

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liz

liz

slow living. photography. craft beer. spirituality. moon + stars. bare feet. road trips. mexican food. blankets. the ocean. journals. coffee. airplanes. forests. meditation. eating out. cacti. playlists. family time. zola the cat. lina, my love.

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