April 7th, 2016
It finally came.
Random picture of me driving my old Mini British Open, back in the summer of 2011.
I absolutely love to drive, I find it to be relaxing and a wonderful way to admire the landscape. I used to drive for hours, while living in Italy, on my own, just so I could see new places and enjoy my time listening to some music while on the road.
I love road trips. I love driving for hours just to get to a place. I love everything about it.
I do realise most people hate that, but to me, it’s always such a pleasant experience.
I have lots of memories with my friend Daizo, of picking her up at her house, 40 minutes away from mine, driving all the way to Lake Garda; order food and eat it inside the car during one of hour road trips; leaving the roof open while it was raining in the summer; driving her home at 3am, when no cars where on the streets.
So driving a car is more than just owning a car, it’s something I enjoy to do, because of the adventures it might bring, and the memories it allows you to make.
And so when I moved to the UK, and everything was reversed, I was just too afraid of picking up a car. It broke my heart, for a long time. Most people told me “Well, you live in Brighton, you don’t really need a car” – which is true, and that’s what I kept telling myself to be somewhat okay with the idea of me not being able to do what I actually wanted to do.
Three years went by, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I made it a point this month to take Felix car and drive.
I made him drive me to a parking lot, and from there I got accustomed to the car itself. When I felt more confident, I moved to a quiet neighbourhood.
At one point, one of my biggest fears while driving (other than crashing/ruining the car) became real: while on a crossing, it was my time to turn right, but because I was so nervous by seeing other cars waiting for me to make my move, I let the car die. Everybody was waiting for me, but my car turned off.
I had a moment of panic, but eventually got myself together, turned on the car, and moved away.
So that was a breaking point for me. One of the things I was so afraid of, actually happened, but I saw that I was able to get myself out of it instead of freezing. I did it. Sure, I was shacking, but it was also my first day driving, and from there things got better.
A few minutes after that little bump, I was ready to hit the bigger roads. It felt so good. I was driving, normally. I wasn’t so afraid anymore.
Of course, it will take me a few times to really be confident, but it’s such a big improvement from refusing to drive a car. I’m not letting that fear rule me anymore, I took control over it and that makes me proud.
I think the next step for me is to get a car for myself so I can start going on small adventures with my friends again. Now that the weather is getting better, I believe it would be the greatest time to do so.
Unfortunately the UK, being an island, doesn’t import all the cars I would love to own – mostly Japanese. My top pick has always been the Daihatsu Trevis.
JUST. LOOK. AT. IT.
Absolutely adorable. I was tempted to look into the Nissan S Cargo, because it’s so quirky, but I decided to stop myself from doing that.
There is one car that I do really like, the Nissan Figaro – which is available on the British market and totally reminds me of this cartoon from Disney.
I even tweeted a few years ago saying how I would love to own it, but being an older model (1990) I’m afraid it won’t be as great in the city for an almost-everyday use. I think it’s more of a collectable car you show off during the weekends. And since I had my experience with older cars, breaking down in the middle of nowhere during a storm, or just having lots of problems in general, this time I should stick with “new-generation” cars.
So I’m left with more traditional cars, like Minis, Smarts and 500s if I want to pick a tiny car. Felix has a Mini, so I’m thinking about getting a used Fiat 500. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for small cars I could look into, available in the UK?
I’m so excited about getting back on the road!