My hubby and I have been driving a lot these past few weeks. I have been noticing the difference between driving in Boston, New York and most recently what it was like to be driven around in taxis in Miami. Both my hubby and I learned how to drive in New York City, so for us driving in New York is a known and comfortable experience. I have over the years learned how to drive in Boston which is a little different than New York because of how the city is set up, but overall the concept of city driving is the same. The key is being prepared before hand, starting your drive with a clear idea of where you are going and being proactive in your driving behavior. I know that there are times that you will find yourself driving lost and in those situations the key to keeping it together is to not panic, pull over and get your bearings, you will get there eventually. If there is one lesson that I have learned over the years of driving all over the place, I will get there when I get there. That simple saying takes a lot of pressure away from me and it allows me to concentrate on the road.
Driving in Miami is something that I definitely do not want to do, when we were down there together in the beginning of October,we witnessed a loud car accident right in front of the campus gates and I have to admit, I wasn’t surprised that it had happened, the street signs are poorly placed, the rules of the road seem to be ignored by the majority of drives, I didn’t feel safe as a pedestrian. I felt basically the same way I did when I was in Rome twenty years ago, in fear for my life when I was crossing the street. That may be an exaggeration, but still Miami is not a city that I want to drive in, I will take taxis thank you very much.
Driving in Europe used to be so different than driving here in the United States, the speeds were greater and the orientation of cities and towns are quite different. However for the most part I have never had an issue driving through France and Spain, it took a day or two to get comfortable driving at higher speeds but nowadays the speed limits have gotten closer to what we have in the States so I don’t see the difference, but having said this I don’t think that I would ever voluntarily drive in Paris. I never have in the past and I don’t see it in my future. I have driven in other French cities but Paris just seems much too crazy for me. It reminds me too much of Rome, a truly magnificent city but be careful when you cross the street. London is another city that I wouldn’t drive in because they drive on the side of the road that I am not conditioned to drive and that would be bad for all parties involved. It wouldn’t be pretty, it would be chaotic.
All of this driving has made me realize that as my hubby and I are getting older one of the things that we will have to take into account is what driving means to us and how we are going to manage our driving requirements. This is partly why moving to Boston in the future makes a lot of sense, we will be living in a city that has an excellent metro system. I say this because after a lifetime of driving, if I won lotto tomorrow, the first thing that I would do is employ a chauffeur, so that driving would become a choice and not the necessity it is nowadays. I had the unpleasant experience of having to put my foot down and tell my mother-in-law that she was no longer allowed to drive and it was an ongoing fight. I will not do that to my babies so that is why my hubby and I will be proactive and relocate eventually to the city so that we will no longer be dependent on the automobile.