I asked Ava the other day if she was still OK with our decision. She said yes.
When we moved from Maryland to South Carolina at the end of 2020, we set aside money from the sale of our house to buy a golf cart to use in our new community. We live in an area that allows residents to drive golf carts on roads with certain restrictions. It’s a fun and cost effective way to make short trips to the beach, restaurants, or to visit others.
We were excited about this until reality changed our perspective.
As Ava recovered from her accident and we began to settle in to our new life, we both realized we didn’t want a golf cart. Sure, it was fun, but everything we would use the golf cart for was either within walking, running, or biking distance…especially walking.
And, with that, we mutually decided to scrap the golf cart purchase. We walk to restaurants about a mile away. Ava’s dad lives only a half mile away…a fairly easy walk and I will often walk to the grocery store, a mile away, for small purchases. I can even walk to the barber for my haircut.
One of the benefits of walking for fitness is a greater capacity and desire to walk. In other words, neither Ava nor I wanted to sit in a golf cart when we could walk. Walking for us is more fun. It’s also way more cost effective.
As gas prices continue to soar, walking has kept our monthly gas expense pretty low. It certainly helps that we live in a community designed for walking, running, and cycling. It also helps that I work from home!
But, there are ways…with a slight perspective shift…that you too can use walking to save money on gas.
Walking is excellent exercise. If you currently drive to a gym, why not swap a day or two for walking near your home? This will increase your walking capacity and might spark a new desire to walk even more. That’ll go a long way to cutting monthly gas costs.
One of the beauty’s of walking for fitness is how much it lowers fitness friction. This friction is all the extra stuff we have to do surrounding out fitness activity…including driving. Lowering, or removing, friction makes fitness much easier on those days when we are struggling with motivation.
I live close to stores and restaurants so walking to Walmart just a mile away is easy. You may not have this opportunity where you live. But, are you certain?
Take inventory of what is within comfortable walking distance. It might be more than you realize if you’re simply used to hopping in the car to run errands.
When we lived in Maryland, we were not in a community that was designed around easy walking access to shopping. But, there were a few things within a mile or two that saved me some driving and I took advantage of it every chance I got.
In fact, it was these “walking errands” that filed a desire in me to live someplace where I could walk a lot more than I did. I would tell others that my goal was to live someplace where I would never have to drive again. I haven’t reached the goal of “never” (and probably never will) but, I’m a lot closer than I used to be.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to drive more when I’m bored. Not that I simply drive aimlessly, but often boredom leads to running needless “errands,” heading out to eat, or finding other entertainment. Walking is a great way to have fun and beat boredom.
Before we moved from Maryland to South Carolina, Ava and I often spent Friday nights talking a long walk. Friday is typically our date night and the summer before we moved was also impacted by the pandemic so there weren’t many date night options.
We had great fun walking through the neighborhood talking to each other and our neighbors. Those were the cheapest date nights we’ve ever had. We saved money on eating out and the gas to get there.
I’ve learned that when I feel bored I take a walk. It’s fun and calming at the same time. It also keeps me out of the car!
You probably can’t walk everywhere, but I’m guessing you can walk more than you do. We all can. And, when we’re walking we’re not driving. This might feel simplistic, but as someone who truly enjoys walking more than driving places this perspective has helped me save real money…and it’s getting more real by the day.
If you’re not used to walking much, why not join me every day for a ten minute walk through the podcast, “Walking Is Fitness?” It’s a great way to get started! Your walking capacity will increase…and so will your desire to walk.