We arrived in Washington, D.C. without motorized vehicle in tow. The car we shipped to Korea is now on a ship in the Pacific Ocean bound for a U.S. port where it will sit for three months until it heads by ship once again to Paraguay. We explored the option of taking it out of storage to use during our four-month tenure in the United States, but we were told that the cost will only be covered for a single destination. If we wanted to divert the car from its journey to Paraguay, we could do so, but we would have to cover the cost to ship it again from Washington to Paraguay. We didn’t even check to see how much that would cost–most likely astronomical.
So now we’re hoofing it here in Virginia, so to speak. Although a shuttle runs from our apartment complex directly to work, for the most part we’re on our own. Ironically, our former neighbors in Seoul are now living in the same complex, and once again they’re graciously offering to let us use their car, just as they did when we first arrived in Korea. I appreciate the gesture but feel a bit awkward following them around the world and using their automobile. Nah, I’ve adopted a "feet first" philosophy here. When possible, I shall walk. The weather hasn’t been so good (it snowed yesterday), so our movements are a bit restricted, but I did manage to find out that our apartment is one hour and 15 minutes from work while dressed in business casual and carrying about 40 pounds.
Without a vehicle we sacrifice some mobility and need to be more flexible and strategic when planning ahead, but we make up for this by burning more calories, burning less gasoline (Conservatives, read "save money," liberals, read "help the environment"), and reducing our automobile budget, particularly maintenance. It’s a win-win proposition. We need a car in Paraguay, and we needed a car while living in Seoul, but Washington is a pedestrian-friendly city. Whether it’s the Metro, the bus system, or a relatively straightforward grid design, Washington makes it easier to eliminate the need for an automobile. It would be easier if we lived near a Metro station, but our apartment’s shuttle system is more than adequate. That’s fine–I’d rather walk.