Car on road

My Biggest Regret

When I was 17 I was so excited because I could learn to drive. Neither my Mum or Dad can drive so I was determined to be the one who could. I got my provisional license as soon as I was able to and started lessons. I couldn’t wait to have my own car and to have all of this independence to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work out that way. My driving instructor turned out to be quite horrible and we didn’t get on very well. He shouted at me for doing something wrong during one lesson and I couldn’t get over it. I made excuse after excuse each week when it came time for my lesson and I never had one since.

Looking back, I really wish I hadn’t let him bother me so much. I wish I had been the kind of person I am now. Now, I wouldn’t have taken his shit for 1 second and I would have called him out on it. Or, I would have just said ‘look, either don’t shout at me or I’ll go elsewhere’. Why didn’t I do that? Instead, I let him get the better of me and now I’m worse off for it.

I was quite lucky that I lived in places where I didn’t need to drive for such a long time. Grimsby is easy enough to get around by bus, Nottingham I wouldn’t have been able to park anywhere and Toronto had fantastic transport options. However, then I met my now husband and we live in a small town in Norfolk. The buses are terrible and don’t run very late, especially on a Sunday! The trains are once an hour and because we live in the middle of Norwich and Cromer, they can get packed!

I love living in Norfolk and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else now. But, there are so many places that I want to visit, or want to take Erin to, that I just can’t get to because I don’t drive. I definitely need a car! I feel like now, Erin will miss out because both me and John don’t drive. I already have to say no quite often when friends arrange days out because either I can’t get there without it taking hours, or anxiety about trying to get there kicks in and takes over. I don’t do very well travelling somewhere quite far away without having been there already. I get a bit worried about getting lost or getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.

I’ve now opened a savings account for getting back into driving lessons. I’m desperate for either me or John to start learning in the new year. We both need new provisional licenses though so we’ll sort those out first and then decide who should be the first to learn. In some ways, it would be easier for John to get to work if he had a car and could then drive us anywhere on weekends etc. But, then I also think it would be better for me to drive so I could get places with Erin during the day and I could also take John to work. It’s a hard decision! We also need to take into account other costs that come with running a car and what happens if a car breaks or needs work doing to it. Unfortunately, it’s not just as simple as passing a test.

Are you in a non-driving family? How do you make it work?

7 thoughts on “My Biggest Regret”

  1. I had a similar experience at 17 and I didn’t learn to drive again until I was pregnant at 30 .It took me 4 attempts to pass and even after 19 years of driving I’m not a confident driver but it is worth it .Good luck x

  2. I learned to drive before I had a baby and I’m so glad I did. However I didn’t pass my test til I was 27- ten years after getting my provisional! It’s a long process and getting the right instructor is a big part of it. It’s worth it when you get there!

  3. I learned to drive and passed when I was 17. I was glad I did. My mum tried a few times, but never got around to sitting your test. You will get there. Find the right instructor and it will all fall into place. xx

  4. Neither my fella or I drive and sometimes I know we are missing out because of it. There are some evenings where we would just like to drive off to the beach or somewhere but can’t. Public transport is OK but takes planning and waiting twice as long to get anywhere. At the moment we can’t afford lessons and definitely can’t afford to run a car. x

  5. We’re a non-driving family and I totally get the struggle. Living in Cornwall and relying on public transport is hard because we’re so far from anywhere. I have a bus pass discount through work which is super helpful but my partner has to pay full price. We rarely go much further than our own town because bus prices keep going up and services are unreliable. It’s not much of a problem now as our son is only two and in the next couple of years we should be able to afford for my partner to learn. Fingers crossed!

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