I've been car-less now for just under six months, during the most miserable part of the year. And by miserable I mean; wet, cold, snowy, icy, treacherous, inclement, murky, windy, cold, very cold, very wet. I love walking in the rain, I really do, but there comes a point when unrelenting wetness and darkness and windiness almost gets too much.
And as for snow. Snow is lovely, great to walk in, great to look at, a magnificent transformer of the mundane into the magical. That is, on day one. After that it rapidly goes down hill. It is hard to walk in, it turns to ice and slush and clings to you. It lengthens any walk and adds a little suspense to the outcome of each journey - will I get there? Which limb will be broken? Is another bike going to run into me today?
Looking at the chaos on the roads though, it does make be grateful that I am not involved in that melee.
Additionally, being ill (but not too ill to go into work) sucks the big one too. There is nothing worse than trudging in with all that weather around you when are feeling poorly. It. Just. Is. Not. Fun.
Overall though I am pretty content with my lifestyle. I buy less crap, because I have less opportunity. I am much fitter and it is easier to keep the weight off because of the constant walking. I seem to see more of the world when I walk and, bizarrely, less of it. I love catching the train to go to my mum's and/or brother's. My wallet has definitely felt the impact of it though - I simply have much more money each month. I am less stressed, worrying about the car and petrol prices and if the damned thing is going to break down and how much the MoT will cost me. Overall, it's been excellent.
The only real downside has been that my hillwalking has all but disappeared. I used to be able to throw my gear in the back of the car and disappear off to the Brecon Beacons (my usual haunt) on a whim, or further afield with a little more planning. Now, it just doesn't happen. It is awkward to get to these places, especially if only for the day and during the winter. The world caters for the summer traveler, but if you want to go at winter the bus service is limited, etc.
The irony is that to go walking in the hills it is infinitely easier to do if you have a car. *sigh*
Long ago, when I first started on this experiment I budgeted to hire a car several times a year. I am going to start doing so once again; it isn't expensive and it will both enable and force me into spending weekends in the hills.