Hi! Already I’m lagging behind with the blog posts! It’s been a busy time.
In the last few weeks, we have been lucky enough to meet some friendly, genuine, interesting people, mostly through school functions or mutual acquaintances. I feel very lucky to be making friends and feeling more connected. With each new acquaintance, we learn a bit about them, and we share our moving-across-the-world story. Among other things, we talk about how we’ve been exploring the city and getting around with the kids. The fact that we are living without a car comes to light.
The range of responses we get has been interesting. The single and/or childless people seem congratulatory, and can relate to varying degrees, since they are currently or have recently lived without a car. We talk about the bus system, and how it’s pretty good here.
Our fellow mums and dads, however, are fascinated, incredulous, or amused. We are a bit quaint, I think. Kids and no car! Imagine that. It won’t last. But they are supportive and helpful, even if they can’t imagine doing something so impractical.
And it may not last. We certainly have not ruled out getting a car, but I have no immediate aspirations. It’s not the driving that I mind. It would be lovely to go to Safeway and just put the groceries in the boot. It would be great to just dash up and down Queen Anne Hill to drop Joy and pick her up from school. And I won’t lie – it’s an absolute pain to wait at a bus stop in the pouring rain.
It’s just that there are also some perks to not having a car. Not having to sit in traffic is one. I don’t miss that! Not having to find parking is also a small joy.
And there are two other points which kind of warm my heart. The first is that we are really getting to know our little corner of Seattle because we are negotiating our way around on the buses. (I’m getting to recognise the bus drivers too!) We have time to look out the window and admire the view, and because have to plan our route, often we actually know a bit about where we’re going! It is true that we’d probably go on trips much further afield if we drove because it would be so much easier and direct, but I figure there’s time for that. If we have to go somewhere in the evening with the kids, like recently to Joy’s school concert, we take a cab. This happens fairly infrequently though.
Also, we walk! We actually exercise every day and we’re not even trying. Each morning after we walk down to the school bus stop and put Joy on, Evan and I walk along the bike trail next to the lake, pick up flowers, stones, and leaves, look at the view, and loop around back to our house. We often see and chat to the same dogs and owners out in the morning, and there’s a post man who once stopped me to ask about Evan’s bike. He waves now every time he sees us.
It’s fun and it gets us moving. Both of the kids have accepted walking to get to the shops or park as a normal part of our lifestyle and I think it’s benefitting us all. It’s different to what we are used to. (Largely probably because we never exercised enough before. But anyway.)
So we are doing stuff and meeting people, which also helps with our homesickness. We have all sort of entered a refreshed stage of missing home, both for family and friends, and also for our favourite and familiar places. Being out and about and meeting people does help. And hey, I didn’t even get to tell you about my Spanish class (which I know you’re all dying to hear about) or how it was sunny and 21 c today. Amazing!! I will get to that next time. xx