on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Living Car-lessly — Day 12

When I started this series on living more simply, I did not have a master plan. All I knew was I wanted something to shift within me so that I could be more free to help others, to live with less stress and debt, and to connect more with God or that which is sacred in my life.

But I want to warn you, once you start on a journey of reflecting on living more simply, it can take you on some interesting trips.  When we begin to question what we need rather than what we want, and how we can take what we have and share with others, look out.

So today I want to share something that seems like an impossible dream for me.  And maybe for you too.

I dream of the day when I can live car-lessly.

There, I said it.  Go ahead and laugh.  Even I am grinning as I type these words.  It is hilarious, ridiculous, and a crazy dream.  Oh let me count the reasons why living without a car is crazy for me:

  1. We presently live in a beautiful home on the lake in the country one hour from my work.
  2. The grocery store, our church, and many of our friends are 35-60 minutes away.
  3. We put 50,000 miles on our new car the first year we had it.
  4. The city I work in does not have a public transportation (well, ok, a few buses).
  5. And the 25 additional reasons I could give you of why it is crazy for me not to own a car.

But think of the money and time and energy we could save if we could live without owning a car? Or at least fewer cars.  This will not happen quickly for me.  It may take five or ten years.  Maybe not.

No car insurance, car payments, gasoline, taxes, etc.  Save maybe $6,000-$8,000 per year?  Think of the people we could help, and the places we could go, if we had that money back.  Riding a bicycle, walking, and other creative transportation solutions to owning a car sounds freeing to me.  It will require us to think differently, for sure.

All I’m saying is I want to be the one to take my own car away from me, before someone else has to do it for me in 20-30 years.

And maybe if we cannot become car-less, we could become car-lite, meaning we rent a car when needed.

I have been inspired by Tammy Strobel’s new e-book called Simply Car-Free and her blog called Rowdy Kittens; minimalist Everett Bogue’s blog — Far Beyond the Stars; and a family of four’s blog called Becoming a Minimalist.  I am finding kindred spirits among many minimalists on the web.

This minister is not ready to be a minimalist, or to live without my car, yet.

But I am ready to start thinking outside the box and living more simply.  How about you?


  1. Tammy Strobel

    Thank you for the link love! I’m thrilled that Simply Car-free inspired you to start thinking differently about your mode of transit. 🙂

  2. Helen Rivas

    Timely posting, Malcolm. Biking, walking are not only freeing; they’re healthier too.

    It would be great if you could join us tomorrow morning 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the Alabama Power Building on 18th St. N. We will be talking about how to support the effort to get better transit.

    You made great arguments that appeal to reader’s interests. I know that you also are aware of the ordeals many patients, workers, people with disabilities or low income go through to get from one place to another in this region.

  3. Laura M

    Hi Malcolm. This is uncomfortable for me because here in Seattle, one could reasonably live without a car. I do ride my bike to work in the spring/summer months. But even in a “bike-friendly” city like Seattle, it can still be a dangerous undertaking. A few months ago, I employed mass transit to get home from the airport. I took our new light rail line and then caught a city bus. Eco-friendly? yes. Simpler than getting into a waiting car? No. So perhaps living simply requires a little more effort?

  4. Malcolm


    I have purchased and read your e-book on Simply Car-free, and it is wonderful. I recommend it to anyone and I love that you can pay for it, download it, and read it immediately!

    Keep up your good work!

  5. Malcolm


    Thanks for sharing your experience and the reminder that eco-friendly isn’t always simpler!

    I am envious of your “bike friendly” city.

    Thanks again for writing.

  6. Malcolm

    Helen, I am sorry but I won’t be able to make the meeting, but thank you for what you are doing for many! Peace.

  7. Jeff Thomas

    Malcolm, a few years ago I was car jacked and was unable to replace my car at that time. I had to somehow find a way to get into downtown from north Shelby County. I could get a ride to the bus line on Hwy 31 but then I had to use the bus system to get into town. For about a year I did this and although it was a little humiliating at first to think I had to ride a bus, I found I had time to read, or better yet strike up conversations with perfect strangers to make the ride more enjoyable. I met some very interesting people, and had some funny stories to tell as well. When I was able to replace my car, I was a little sad that I was no longer going to be able to have that experience. I learned that sometimes having something taken away can become a new adventure and a blessing in disguise. Thank you for reminding me of that part of my journey of living more simply.

  8. Malcolm

    Thank you Jeff, for reminding us all there are gifts in living simply if we are open to them the way you were. I appreciate who you are my friend.

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