Updated: December 10, 2021 Reading Time: 2 minutes stage: complete

Cars have always been to me one of the most American of possessions.

As a kid traveling in South Florida I was always amazed by the gigantic 5-lane highways, trucks so big that drivers could sleep in them.

I marveled at all the things one could do without leaving their cars. Anything from burgers to coffee to cash you could get without ever leaving or stopping your car.

Then I went to study to Europe and cars were almost despised. Sure, in the UK, trains, subways and bicycles could get you almost anywhere but for all their convenience they weren’t as personal and liberating as cars.

So when I moved to California one of the first things I did was buying a car.

Nothing fancy, just a reliable Toyota.

I enjoyed the freedom the car gave me. I could now go anywhere I pleased without much planning or schedules.

But as time went on I started to be enslaved by the car—a very American experience.

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For all its negatives it meant that I didn't have to commute to work anymore!

In fact, for the past 6 months I've used my car less than in a normal pre-pandemic month.

Driving has become quite the experience. Something you do a few times a month when you want to get out of the city.

That's exactly what I did today.

I drove 520 miles just to remind myself to never be enslaved by a car again.